Padraig McCrory made Marco Antonio Periban wish Saturday night that he hadn’t made this transatlantic trip.
McCrory dropped Periban three times, once in the second round and twice during the fifth round, before referee Mark Lyson stopped their 10-round super middleweight match on the Michael Conlan-Miguel Marriaga undercard at The SSE Arena Belfast. The official time of the stoppage was 2:14 of the fifth round.
Belfast’s McCrory improved to 14-0 and recorded his eighth knockout. Mexico’s Periban (26-5-1, 17 KOs) lost by technical knockout for the third time in almost 14 years as a pro.
The 34-year-old McCrory impressively passed the stiffest test of a pro career he launched five years ago after a limited amateur career. Periban has fought a much higher level of opposition than McCrory, but the Mexico City resident is 37 and has boxed only three times since May 2017.
McCrory began to finish off Periban when he blasted him with a right hand to the side of his head that sent Periban to the canvas just after the midway mark of the fifth round. A left hook by McCrory made Periban touch the canvas with his left glove barely 20 seconds before he went down the first time in the fifth round.
An aggressive McCrory knew Periban was ready to go, so he unloaded a barrage of power punches on him as Periban backed into the ropes. Periban was about to go down a third time in the fifth round before Lyson stepped between them to stop the fight.
For the second straight round, McCrory converted to a left-handed stance and nailed Periban with a left hand that backed him into a corner less than 30 seconds into the fourth round. Periban landed a left hook to the body after connecting with a left hook up top a few seconds before the fourth round ended.
McCrory briefly switched to a southpaw stance and blasted Periban with a left hand that knocked him backward with about 45 seconds to go in the third round. McCrory connected with two hard right hands toward the end of the third round as well.
A right-left combination by McCrory knocked Periban into the ropes and caused him to touch the canvas with his left glove, which counted as a knockdown approximately 30 seconds into the second round. A brave Periban fought out of the trouble and wasn’t hurt again by McCrory during the second round.
Periban countered McCrory with a right hand just before the bell sounded to end the first round.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.