Dunne's manager predicts tough test

Last updated at 11:16 24 June 2007

Bernard Dunne's manager believes the fighter is entering the danger zone when

he makes the mandatory defence of his European super-bantamweight title.

Dunne was a comprehensive unanimous points winner over Norway's Reidar Walstad

in Dublin's National Stadium last night, leaving the challenger's face a bloody

mess after 12 one-sided rounds.

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Bernard Dunne

But now the 27-year-old must look ahead to a mandatory defence against unbeaten

Spaniard Kiko Martinez, with the fight going out to purse offers.

And manager Brian Peters explained: "Martinez is a very dangerous fighter -

this is a fight that will be a defining part of Bernard's career.

"Martinez is unbeaten, he has a string of knockouts on his record and Bernard

will have to raise his game even more to beat him.

"It's a fight that if he wins will just confirm him as the best

super-bantamweight in Europe and then he can move on from this level."

Peters was pleased with the way Dunne handled Walstad, who had defeated him as

an amateur in the 1997 European Championships though insisted the best was still

to come.

The Irish star hardly lost a round in Dublin last night despite the scoring of

116-112, 115-113 and 118-111 but did seem to tire in the latter stages and was

unable to stop the challenger who at times seemed to used as target practice.

Peters added: "People have to realise that Bernard Dunne is not the finished

article, not by a long way.

"I thought he did a very good job against a tough opponent but still has a lot

to work on and we still haven't seen the best of Bernard.

"Maybe he could have stepped it up a bit and tried to stop the guy but you

have to give Walstad credit for standing up to a lot of heavy shots.

"It was a hell of a fight. It was a tough 12 rounds and I needed that."

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