Monthly Archives: February 2011
27 February 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
Irish Prospect of the Year Jamie Kavanagh is ready to rock in Manchester on April 19 after surviving being rocked in the early stages of another impressive victory in LA last week.
The Wild Card prospect was wobbled just seconds into his fifth paid outing, but came back strong to eventually win a landside decision over tough Mexican Ramon Flores. The Spanish speaking former World Youth silver medalist recovered well to claim every round in his first six rounder and is now ready to impress the large Irish contingent when he fights on the undercard of Paul McCloskey and Amir Khans WBA world title fight.
Every fight has been a stepping stone and I felt this fight was a great learning curve. It was good to get six rounds in. I can take a lot away from this fight. I spoke to Golden Boy and Freddie(Roach) after the fight and they were happy with my performance, especially how I adapted to his style, Kavanagh told Mirror Sport.
I didnt want too look beyond this fighter, but now I have him out of the way my eyes are set too Manchester. I am very excited to be fighting so close too home. It will be my European debut so I am looking forward to it. I am already anxious to get back into camp after my little weekend rest and prepare for it.
The Freddie Roach trained talent admitted to being shocked in the first, but was keen to take positives out of how he handled the big right. Kavangah is delighted that he showed enough composure to recover and believes the first round wobble will stand to him in future fights.
Taking that shot and how I came back will stand too me in the future. It was more of a shock than anything. I came out too relaxed. It is all learning curve for me. After that shot I took control straight away. I began using my boxing skills and won every round. Ok it was a big shot, but I took it, composed myself and came back strong to win. It was just one punch and I won the fight.
Posted February 27th, 2011 in News
25 February 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
Freddie Roach is devising the perfect plan to ensure Paul McCloskey does not dethrone WBA light welterweight world champion Amir King Khan in Manchester on April 19.
The greatest boxing trainer in the world, who is deemed the mastermind behind Khans transformation from vulnerable prospect to superstar champ, is currently studying McCloskey and is confident he can plot the European champions demise.
Roach labelled the Derry southpaw tough and awkward, but is confident that armed with a flawless gameplan Khan will over come any obstacles the undefeated McCloskey can put in his way en route to becoming pound for pound champion of the world.
The four time trainer of the year, who trains eight division world champion and boxing legend Manny Paquiao, also hit back at the opposition corners claims that the Bolton native is susceptible to power shots.
Roach is adamant the Golden Boy promoted pugilists chin isnt his Achilles heel and stressed the Olympic medallist will prove as much in the MEN Arena in April.
Speaking to Mirror Sport Roach said, Paul McCloskey is a tough kid. He has a very awkward southpaw stance. I think he is a worthy challenger for Amir and his title. He’s undefeated, European Champion and has some good wins on his record.
I dont agree with John Breens views on Amirs chin and we’ll show just how good Amir is in the fight. I do believe Khan can go on to become pound for pound for champion, but we don’t look past anybody. It is one fight at a time for us, but we will take care of the task at hand. I have tapes of McCloskey’s fights. I’m studying his style. We will come up with a perfect game plan.
McCloskey is not the only Irish fighter planning to outfox a Roach trained puncher in a career defining bout this spring.
Andy Lee will be looking to tame Wild Cards Scott Craig McEwan to end up on the world title path with victory in a crossroads bout that pits Roach against fellow training legend Emanuel Steward.
And the Wild Card boss, who admitted he has been a little disappointed by Lees progress in the paid ranks, believes the best prepared fighter will win on March 12.
This by far Craigs biggest test. I dont think the pressure of what is at stake will get to either fighter. I think the best prepared fighter will win. Andy Lee was a terrific amateur and is a talented boxer. I would be a little disappointed in his last few fights, but I expect to see him at his best against McEwan. Andy holds a win over Craig in the amateurs but I dont think that will have any bearing on the fight. That was a long time ago, Roach added.
Roach, who has worked with Bernard Dunne and Steve Collins and is predicting a bright future for Wild Cards current Irish resident Jamie Kavanagh, has parted company with Guillermo Rigondeaux so wont be in the Cubans corner when he defends the WBA interim title against Willie Casey on March 19.
However the Los Angles based Hall of Famer is predicting a difficult night for Limericks Big Bang when he challenges the best counter puncher Roach has ever seen.
Rigondeaux is a very, very polished fighter. He’s is a very crafty fighter. In fact he is the craftiest counter puncher I’ve ever seen. However he only has one style. You need more than one style to be a complete fighter.
Meanwhile, Roachs Irish charge Kavanagh, who earlier this month was named Prospect of the Year at the National Boxing Awards extended his unbeaten record to 5-2 (2KO) with a shutout points victory (60-54 x3) over Mexicos Ramon Flores at LAs Club Nokia venue.
The 20-year-old Dubliner, who is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions will now begin preparations for a slot on the undercard of Khan v McCloskey on April 16.
24 February 2011 – Steve Wellings
Mullingar stylist JJ McDonagh insists that two back to back wins have reignited his confidence and all but erased memories of the shock loss he suffered to Tommy Tolan last August. Speaking from his new Crumlin gym base in Dublin, JJ is hopeful of snaring a slot on the big March 19 title showdown between Willie Casey and Guillermo Rigondeaux.
I dont know for sure whether Ill be on the show in March, Im just waiting for something to come up, stated the 25-year-old, who fights alongside brother Paddy. Im pleased with my performance on both of the previous shows, in December 2010 and then my most recent outing in January of this year.
Irish Champion of the Year Anthony Fitzgerald headlined both of those events, with wins over Kevin Hammond and Lee Murtagh respectively. JJ took just four rounds to knock the resistance out of Latvias Denis Sirjatovs in his pre-Christmas outing. The prospect, trained by Tom Ward, then achieved six good rounds against perennial punchbag Phil Townley in the January contest.
With Tommy Tolan recently losing to Tony Jeffries in Belfast, it is conceivable that McDonagh may look to settle the score with the man who handed him his only professional defeat thus far, via a chilling third round knockout in Dublins City West.
Tommy came forward and applied a lot of pressure on Jeffries, with plenty of headwork thrown in, McDonagh commented, on the Lindsay-Simpson support act. He got caught with a good punch in the end and, seriously, theres no point in me going back in and fighting him for nothing. If there was an Irish title on the line then I would get in again with him; Id fight anybody for an Irish title. Ive done the scheduled rounds already so Im eligible for a shot. Im ready for whoever comes next.
Both McDonagh brothers are stylish southpaws who were employed as sparring hands for Brian Magee last year prior to the Lisburn mans European title crack at Mads Larsen in Denmark. Brian of course stopped Larsen for that crown and now meets Lucian Bute in Canada on March 19. Brians manager Pat Magee was suitably impressed with the workout that the McDonagh siblings offered his charge on that occasion and have asked them back for more, as Magee trains for the biggest night of his life.
Ive been helping Brian Magee prepare for Lucian Bute, along with my brother Paddy and its been going well, JJ confirmed. I helped Brian prepare for Mads Larsen last year and its always great experience to work with someone like him. Ive also been sparring Anthony Fitzgerald, so the preparation is good.
25 February 2011
James J. Houlihan, curator of the Fighting Irishmen, an exhibition developed and premiered at Irish Arts Center in New York City in 2006, is pleased to announce that the exhibition will continue its international tour, next appearing at the University of Limerick in Limerick, Ireland in 2011.
The exhibit will open on April 11, and run through September 30, and will be one of the highlights of Limerick European City of Sport celebrations in 2011. The University of Limerick will host the Fighting Irishmen exhibit at the University Arena. The exhibit will be open to the public Monday through Saturday from 9am-9pm and on Sunday from 11am-6pm. For visiting information please call the reception at the University Arena at (011) 353 61-213555.
The exhibition features as its central piece, the late, great Irish fighter Dan Donnellys mummified right arm and an array of robes, gloves, boxing bags, prints, photographs, paintings, and film footage of Celtic prize-fighters from 1820 to the present day. Intriguing objects on display will include pieces from sporting greats such as John L. Sullivan, Jack Dempsey, Gene Tunney, Barry McGuigan, Freddie Gilroy, Bobby Cassidy, Gerry Cooney, Billy Graham, Billy Conn, John Duddy, Maureen Shea and many more. Ballymena-born actor Liam Neeson, Honorary Chair and long-time supporter of the Irish Arts Center, has also loaned personal items from his amateur boxing career to the exhibit including the gloves given to him by Olympic boxer Freddie Gilroy.
David Mahedy, Director of Sport at the University of Limerick, is delighted to host this exhibition at the University during the citys tenure as 2011 European City of Sport, helping to raise Limericks profile as a sporting city and a venue for major international events and exhibitions.
Kevin OConnor of Shannon Development, who helped secure this exhibition for Limerick and is one of the main drivers behind the Limerick City of Sport event, feels this event will be a major boost to business and tourism in Limerick this year. It will highlight the sporting links between Limerick, Ireland and the United States over many decades with an eye to developing further opportunities with the Irish Arts Center in future.
The exhibit first opened in 2006 at the Irish Arts Center in New York to great acclaim. Thereafter it was the feature exhibit at the South Street Seaport Museum in lower Manhattan (2007), the Burns Library at Boston College (2008), the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh, Ireland (2009) and at Croke Park at the GAA Museum in Dublin, Ireland (2010). Following its exhibition in Limerick, the Fighting Irishmen plans to continue its tour in Europe, and the United States.
Since it was first opened in 1972 the University of Limerick has hosted many important sports events and in 2010 was the main venue for the Special Olympic Ireland Games which attracted over 3,000 athletes from all parts of Ireland. More recently, the Arena in the University has hosted a number of important professional boxing fight nights, firstly with Andy Lee also where Willie Big Bang Casey secured the European title.
To view articles, press coverage, and pictures regarding the exhibition, visit www.fightingirishmen.com.
24 February 2011
The Irish Boxing Review: 2011 edition is now available wth the first batch of copies available from www.irishboxingreview.com.
The review has been put together by Steve Wellings as a means of cataloguing the rise of Irish boxing. It includes fight reports, reviews and previews, interviews, feature pieces, photographs and a variety of other articles of interest to the boxing enthusiast across Ireland and beyond. From Irish title contests to world title showdowns, the review focuses on Irish boxers past and present, with expert opinion from some of the sports most respected managers, trainers and promoters across the amateur and professional circuit. It looks at the proud tradition of Irish boxers seeking fame and fortune in the United States, the controversial role of the world sanctioning bodies, the growing voice of online boxing news providers, a review of the popular National Boxing Awards and concludes by celebrating the striking re-growth of the sport in Ireland after a period in the wilderness.
It also follows some of the biggest domestic names. The likes of Paul McCloskey, Andy Lee, Brian Magee, Martin Lindsay, Matthew Macklin, Martin Rogan, John Duddy, the Hyland trio and more. It catalogues the rise of Willie Casey and the new breed of talent coming through including Carl Frampton, Anthony Fitzgerald, Jamie Kavanagh, Michael Sweeney, Stephen Ormond, Andy Murray, Jamie Conlan and Luke Wilton. We relieve great moments from the careers of Michael Carruth, Gerry Storey, Neil Sinclair and Darren Corbett, discuss Bernard Dunnes retirement with Harry Hawkins and travel to shows in all manner of locations to spot the next big talent.
The Irish Boxing Review will also be stocked by Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Please refer to the website for regular updates.
For more information log on to www.irishboxingreview.com.
Posted February 24th, 2011 in News
23 February 2011
Two time European Middleweight Champ, Matthew Mack the Knife Macklin has landed a high profile Las Vegas showdown with the legendary Ronald “Winky” Wright on April 9. The fight will be the first of a lucrative promotional deal that Macklin has inked with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions. The bout will take place at the MGM Grand on a live HBO pay per view event and will serve as the co-featured attraction to the clash between Mexican legend Erik El Terrible Morales and Argentinian power puncher, Marcos Maidana with the event being billed by Golden Boy as “Action Heroes”.
This is exactly the kind of fight I’ve been looking for and I believe it will bring out the absolute best in me, said Macklin about his clash with Wright. I have the utmost resect for Winky, he is a legend of the sport and his achievements speak for themselves. He’s been in 15 world title fights and fought the likes of Bernard Hopkins, Jermain Taylor and Paul Williams as well as having a pair of wins over ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley and a shutout win over Felix Trinidad. That’s a hugely impressive resume and he has been consistently considered amongst the best pound for pound fighters in the world over the last 10 years. He’s someone I’ve looked up to throughout my career but this is my time to make a big impact in the US and this is the perfect fight to do that in. I know that it will be a huge challenge but that’s what appeals to me about this fight and I’m very confident about the outcome.
The fight was originally mooted for last summer but it failed to materialise and instead Macklin successfully regained his European title before making a successful title defence in December. I originally agreed to fight Winky last summer but for whatever reason he never agreed terms then but thankfully it’s on now, said Macklin. I’ve always believed I’ve the ability to go right to the very top in the sport and where better to prove that than against a living legend of the sport on a big HBO fight in Las Vegas.
Wright insists he’s confident of cutting Macklin’s Stateside invasion short. I’m training hard and pushing hard because I want to give fans the best Winky Wright on April 9. I can’t wait to get back in the ring. I feel stronger, faster and sharper than ever, and I’m ready to reclaim what’s mine, but first, I’ll have to show Matthew Macklin some new tricks in Vegas.
Macklin’s manager, Brian Peters believes that a win over Wright will lead to a World title fight. This is one of the most lucrative deals for an Irish boxer in the last 25 years. Matthew has always been hugely ambitious and this deal with Golden Boy gives him the platform to go on and realise those ambitions.
This will arguably be the biggest fight involving an Irishman in Las Vegas since that infamous night when Barry McGuigan lost his World title in the desert heat back in 1986. Matthew’s fight will at least be indoors so he certainly won’t have to worry about the heat but he will be up against one of the finest fighters to step into the ring in recent times. Matthew won’t be phased by fighting in Vegas though. He’s already boxed in the States on a number of occasions and was around Ricky Hatton for the build up to a lot of his big fights in the US so he will know what to expect.
Tickets for “Action Heroes” are priced at $350, $250, $150, $75, $50 and $25. Macklin fans in the UK and Ireland interested in traveling to the bout as part of a package can contact Elaine O’Neill from America Direct on +353 (0)1 8366 366 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
23 February 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
Irish Golden Boy Jamie Kavanagh is looking to warm up for the biggest fight of his fledgling pro career with victory on a Club Nokia Show in Los Angeles, California on Thursday night.
The Freddie Roach trained 20 year old, makes his 2011 bow 30 minutes from his new residence before fighting a 40 minute flight distance away from his Dublin home on the undercard of stable mate Amir Khans world title fight with Paul McCloskey.
However, despite being excited about giving Irish fans an up close and personal view of his much touted skills in the MEN Arena on April 19, the newly installed Irish Prospect of the Year is wary of looking past latest opponent Ramon Flores in his first six rounder.
I am delighted too be out again,” he said.
“I am fighting in LA just 30 minutes from my house so there isnt too much travel involved. I am confident. All the training has been done in the gym and I am in great shape. I fight another Mexican Ramon Flores. He has a lot of heart and comes too win. It is a step up and it is my first six round fight. After this we will see where we go, but now right now I am just concentrating on Flores.
I am finding the 135 division a lot better. I am losing the weight a lot easier because I am living as a fighter. I have been sparring Raymundo Beltran a lot for this fight. He is a quality fighter and has been helping me getting me ready, the former IABA Youth World Silver medallist added before discussing his first European paid outing.
I am delighted to be on the Khan v McCloskey under card in Manchester. I spoke to Khan and his team yesterday. I seen them all in the Wild Card gym and I am on that show. It is a great fight for me and a great show to be on. The added bonus is there will be a lot of Irish there. I am intent on showing them my skills and what I can do. Manchester is only a short distance from Dublin espically if you take into consideration how far away LA is.
23 February 2011
Promoter Frank Warren has made an offer to Ashley Theophane to fight Irish Champion Frankie Gavin.
US based Londoner Theophane captured the British light-welterweight title last Saturday night at Wembley Arena, beating Lenny Daws on points.
On the same night Gavin beat Michael Lomax at the York Hall, halting the former British title challenger in seven rounds in the best performance of his career. Birmingham star Gavin, 25, Britain’s only ever world amateur champion, said afterwards that he wanted the British title fight next.
Warren said, “I’d love to make the Theophane fight next for Frankie. I believe that he’s a precocious talent and is ready for Theophane or anybody else at light-welterweight.”
22 February 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
Irish fight fans will be turned on the by news they will be able to tune into one Irish fighters March 19 world title challenge.
Whilst Big Bang Willie Caseys WBA super bantamweight title clash with Guillermo Rigondeaux seems to have suffered a TV black out, Brian Magees IBF super middleweight bout with Lucian Bute will be broadcast by no fewer than three TV networks.
European super middleweight champion Magees Montreal hosted fight with the best super-middle outside the Super Six will be shown live on Setanta, with delayed coverage on BBC on Sunday night and highlights on Skys weekly magazine installment Ringside. Fight fans disappointed by the fact RTE, TV3, ESPN and Setanta have so far opted against broadcasting the biggest fight in Ireland since the Bernard Dunne era will be lifted by the news that Magees prestigious title tilt will be given air time.
It would have been a travesty if a fight of this importance and magnitude wasnt shown at home, Brian Magees manager Pat Magee told irish-boxing.com.
We pulled out all the stops to ensure everyone back home got the chance to see it. It will be aired live on Setanta. As far as I am aware it will be on Setanta Ireland between 2am and 3am. Full delayed coverage will be broadcast on BBC Northern Ireland at 10pm Sunday night and Sky Sports will show edited highlights on their Ringside show. So everyone should get a chance to see it, Magee added before revealing that the former Holy Trinity amateur wont just be relying on TV support.
There is a good crowd going over and Montreal has a big Irish community. We have been in contact with the various Irish organisations and hopefully they will buy some tickets and come out in force. There should be a considerable Irish presence there.
Posted February 22nd, 2011 in News
22 February 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
Brian Magee is travelling to Canada to collect the IBF world title on March 19 and not just a substantial pay day, according to manager Pat Magee.
The European Champion turned down the opportunity to challenge, Dimitri Sartison, the fighter deemed weakest of the world champions in favour of a title tilt with, Lucian Bute, the best super middleweight outside the super six. But Magee has denied suggestions the Irish veteran is preferring wealth to boxing glory by taking on Le Tombuer in Montreal on the same night Willie Casey challenges for a world title in Dublin.
The Belfast based manager revealed fighting Sartison in Germany was riskier than taking on Bute, yet offered none of the rewards that victory over the Canadian based Romanian would bring. Magee, who claimed Brian Magee is looking sharp and confident in training, stressed the 35 year old was fearful of going Germany, a place renowned for hometown decisions. The experienced manager also pointed out that fighting undefeated and hotly tipped Bute(27-0) gives the former British Champion the massive American exposure he craves.
If Brian didn’t fancy himself against Bute we wouldnt have taken the fight, Magee told Mirror Sport. Brian is improving since he won the British title and he is on an upward curve. People dont know just how good Brian Magee is. it is less than a month to the fight now and he is looking good. Any fighter worth his salt wouldnt turn down the chance to test himself against the best in front of 16,500 fans and live on a Showtime extravaganza. Brian is 35 and every fight he has now has to be a big one, but he is not going there to lose.
We were mandatory for WBA champ Sartison, but we couldnt get him to come to Belfast. For obvious reason’s Brian was not keen on going to Germany. When the Bute fight came up Brians trainer had a look at it. We thought we had a chance so we took it. It was go to Germany with a promoter with no TV and a record of fights falling through or go to Canada fight the biggest name out there in a bout broadcast across America and the world. If we beat Sartison we would have been in the same spot we are now beat Bute and Brian can write his own cheques. What a alot of people don’t know is that we had agreed to fight Sartison as chief support bout to Hopkins v Pascal, but when Showtime decided against making that pay per view they felt they couldn’t afford two world title fights.”
Bute is clear favourite going in to the title fight with the former Olympian, but Pat Magee points to Brian Magees odd defying previous and is hoping the Belfast fighter is underestimated.
I hope Bute and his people underestimate Brian. If they do they will be in for a shock. When Brian went to Denmark to fight Mads Larsen for the European title he was a 7/2 outsider now he is 6/1 to beat Bute. He has proved the bookies and doubters wrong before.”