Long Beach native Seanie Monaghan reveled in the moment when he walked to the ring for the first boxing card in 31 years at renovated Nassau Coliseum Saturday night to the lilt of Irish bagpipes. Before the first bell, he heard his partisans — many of whom bought their tickets directly from him — chant his name.
That was as good as it gets. But what followed in short order were the worst moments of Monaghan’s career. Not even a minute into the bout, Staten Island light heavyweight Marcus Browne landed a right hook that put Monaghan on the seat of his pants. He recovered with help from time off to get over a low blow.
But it was over at 2:20 of the second round after a hard left-right combination from southpaw Browne left Monaghan defenseless and forced referee Steve Willis to jump in and stop the fight. It was the first loss as a pro for Monaghan (28-1, 17 KOs) and it came at the hands of good friend Browne (20-0, 15 KOs), who probably has sparred with Monaghan about 100 rounds over the past decade.
Monaghan admitted he can “barely lay a glove” on Browne in sparring, but he was hoping to wear the 26-year-old down. Browne made sure that didn’t happen, opening quickly with a stiff right jab that set up the punch that knocked Monaghan off his feet for the first time in his career. Browne might have finished him right there, but the low blow forced Willis to call time and give Monaghan a chance to recover.
Still seeming dazed in the second, Monaghan was an easy target for Browne’s lightning punches. “I’ve never been off my feet in my life,” Monaghan said. “It’s weird. It’s not like it hurt. It’s like when you get up too fast and you get dizzy. It was like that, and I fell over.
“I’m still shocked by it. I’m happy that I lost to Marcus. He’s a great fighter, and I want to see him take it to the limit now.”
Monaghan could have taken a full five minutes to recover from the low blow, but he said, “I’m not trying to milk it. I’m a fighter. Marcus is a bad dude, man. He’s going to be a world champion.”
Describing the punch that floored Monaghan, former Olympian Browne said, “I took my time, and I just felt it. You know when you feel a punch that lands solid. I just turned it up from there. My trainer told me to relax and just let it come. Then, I started letting my jab go again, and it just came.”
Now, Browne hopes to face WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson. Monaghan is not so sure what’s next for him. “I’ll be 36 next month, and I’ve made a little bit of money,” Monaghan said. “I’m sure my family would like it if I stopped boxing, but I might give it one more go.”
Monaghan still enjoyed his Coliseum experience despite the outcome. “I’ve always been blessed to have the crowd support me,” Monaghan said. “I love everybody coming out and screaming my name. It means the world to me.”