Monthly Archives: February 2012
Martin Lindsay is looking forward to exiting boxing limbo, re entering the ring and moving back into title contention in 2012.
The Belfast featherweight hasn’t thrown a punch in anger since loosing his British title to John Simpson last December, but returns to the squared circle in London on March 23.
The ‘Mac Man’ faces Marc Callaghan, a former British title challanger that has turned into a respect journey man of late. The university graduate also already succesfully pasted the test poised by the English fighter and as a result will be expected to win.
Regardless of fight foe, however Lindsay is just happy to fighting again.
“It is great to have a fight, I have been out of action for too long. I beat Callaghan a few years ago in Italy in an eight rounder and he is a tough boy who has fought for the British title a few times. He will be a good test for me after so long off, but I should be able to out-box him. I have been in limbo for to long and I am looking forward to getting back in the ring,” Lindsay told the Belfast Newsletter.
With Paul McCloskey’s fight with Julio Diaz and Martin Rogan’s clash with Tyson Fury set for Belfast in May and April respectfully there is a chance the ticket seller could appear in front of his loyal support very shortly.
“I would fight on either card – but I know McCloskey has the Prizefighter show on his card but I am open to either. I want to put myself back on the map and get challenging for titles as soon as possible. I was supposed to be on the Rogan shows last year, but they fell through. I am open to offers of fights as I am promoter free at the minute. I am a free agent.
“I have training away since Christmas as I knew a fight would be on the cards. I am good shape and am looking to get back to winning ways against Callaghan,” said Lindsay
Posted February 29th, 2012 in News
The 22 year, who represented Ireland as an amateur, claims he enjoyed every minute of his return-well the one minute his debut lasted- and hopes to be out in England as early as next month.
Posted February 29th, 2012 in News
Katie Taylor will fight leading U.S welterweight, Cashmere Jackson, from Cleveland, Ohio on March 30th at Cork’s Silver Springs Hotel in her last bout in Ireland prior to setting off for the 2012 World championships – and only female Olympic qualifier – in Qinhuangdao, China . At that event, Taylor will be seeking to win the 60kg lightweight title for a record fourth successive time.
Posted February 29th, 2012 in Amateur
Posted February 29th, 2012 in Amateur
Irish light welterweight champion Frankie Gavin has told Stephen Haughian to get in touch if he wants to get it on.
The Birmingham born fighter of Irish descent contacted www.irish-boxing.com after reading Paddy Appleton’s interview with the Lurgan boxer, in which he stated he wanted to put his Irish welterweight title on the line against the much touted and somewhat troubled star.
‘Fun Time’ is ready to get down to the serious business of winning a second Irish title.
“I’m ready, willing and able. Tell Stephen to get in touch with my promoters. I would love the fight an get another Irish title,” Gavin said.
Jonny Stapleton reveals why he believes the boxing community should stop moaning about a lack of boxing on TV and work together to get boxing on the box.
The lack of Boxing on terrestrial TV has been vilified by boxing fans of late but Televisions companies decision to leave boxing off the box is in some degree a justified decision.
Before you jump on me like Mike Tyson would an injured foe, let me state no one wants boxing to broadcast on our national airwaves more than this journalist. Not just because I have and love and passion for the sport, but because the more mainstream it becomes, the more newspaper coverage it gets and the more income I make.
Also let me point out that as our Public Service Broadcaster I think RTE have a duty to give the fight game its place on the airwaves, visual, audio and indeed online.
However, I think constant fan bemoaning of the lack of coverage isn’t the route to take and I do understand why no terrestrial TV station or indeed the only Irish based sports TV station has no interest in broadcasting live boxing.
Broadcasting live professional fights is just too expensive in comparison to broadcasting sports, which if we like it or not guarantee a much larger audience.
To broadcast a live fight night costs the station in the region of €50,000 to €70,000.
I am sure compromises’ could be made that could reduce that figure, but that is the figure quoted to promoters who approach TV stations in Ireland.
If you consider €15,000 was the cost for the rights to an ENTIRE season of Magners League rugby last year and compare that to the cost of showing boxing- it is a business no brainier.
20 odd matches and highlight shows for a sport which statistics show is consumed more and appeals across the board for a fraction of the cost of ONE fight night?
The figures speak for themselves!
We might not like it, but we have to remember and accept that TV Stations are companies and businesses at heart. RTE aside, their only loyalty is to profit and not to any one sport. The have no obligation to boxing or duty to the sport.
If boxing was consumed by as many people as GAA, Soccer and Rugby not only would they be showing fight nights they would be on their knees cheque in hand to Irish promoters.
It is also widely know in Media circles that sports like Rugby, Golf and GAA are hugely attractive to advertisers. Because of the market they reach advertisers pay more to be associated with such sports- baffling to me, but if you were making more profit selling red sweets than black which colour would you sell?
Again I have to agree as our Public State Broadcaster RTE have a responsibility to minority sports and they should have some boxing content beyond just the National Finals.
RTE claim sever cuts have prevented them from a return to Bernard Dunne style programming. I am not sure why people don’t believe that reasoning considering the financial state of the country at present. Even worse RTE bosses will ask why they should fork out €50,000 plus, of cash they say they haven’t got, to air boxing shows when they were paid to air Willie Casey’s world title fight last March.
TV3 received over €25,000 to show Tommy Egan Promotion’s fight night a number of years ago and argue a similar point when approached by promoters.
Boxing isn’t helped by laws that state certain International sporting occasions have to be available on terrestrial TV. Meaning the Six Nations and competitive soccer internationals have to be shown on the stations your aerial can pick up without been boosted by tinfoil. As a result there is no major bidding war for their content and they are attainable on the cheap.
Putting boxing on the box costs more and draws less revenue than the power four of GAA, Rugby, Soccer and Golf. So if your not obliged to air them in favour of other sports you won’t. That’s not a slight at boxing it’s a fact. TV stations owe nothing to boxing and again aside from RTE none have any duty to the game we love.
What the boxing community the IABA and the BUI need to do is make boxing appealing to TV stations instead of feeling pity and playing the hard done by card.
How do we do that- well it seems simple in principle! Make more people watch it and make it cheaper to air.
Promoters the IABA and the BUI should work together to promote the game nation wide. Leinster have upgraded from playing in front to 400 trench coat wearing, D4 fans in Donnybrook to competing in front of an Aviva Stadium full of people from every walk of life. How? Grass roots marketing.
The boxing community should work to achieve something similar. They should also make a deliberate effort to make themselves more attractive to TV. Deck the National Stadium out with cameras and all that is needed to broadcast an event. Take the cost of the TV companies. The BUI should produce their own magazine shows and give it to TV stations for free. That would in turn establish and prove there is a TV audience for the sport.
Fight nights have to be made exciting and appealing. Look at other sports the top teams and stars will always collide. Feder will play Nadal, Leinster will clash with Munster, Bohs battle Rovers and Dublin share the field with Kerry. Promoters need 50/50 appealing fights and for the big names to meet.
This website will try and do its bit and submit its readership figures to prove there is appetite for the game to all TV stations on a monthly basis. We will also offer its services in helping record any magazine show if needs be.
I will agree boxing does not feature like it should in news reels across Irish TV land. The lack of air time given to Ireland’s greatest athlete at present, Katie Taylor is a disgrace.
As Paddy Appleton points out here:
I won’t defend any decision to ignore boxing by news rooms, but I will point out the boxing community could do more to force the issue.
I will reveal as a boxing journalist for international magazines, a national newspaper, Ireland’s biggest boxing website and Ireland’s only boxing radio show I get more press releases from other sports than I do boxing.
In fact I have more soccer, rugby, swimming and hockey news sources vying for my attention than the boxing people I can give so much publicity too. I get a rugby team sheet each week with footnotes trying to tie selection to boxing. ‘number 15 once trained in St Saviours’, ‘12 once did a white collar show’ ‘2’ mothers sisters husbands adopt niece once meet Katie Taylor.’ A massive effort is made to ensure press coverage.
Again I am not defending TV stations choice to leave the fight game from their sports bulletins, but the boxing community can do a lot more.
Indeed I received ten press releases from a British promoters last week describing how certain fighters opened a shop, visited the toilet or trained for two hours . Yet not one press release re the first Irish show of the year in Belfast landed in my inbox.
That is not a slight at a great Emerald Show and we worked in conjunction with the new promotional team to give what was a very successful first show online and national newspaper exposure.
However, if boxing people don’t believe their shows are worthy of press then why should any news outlet.
Believe me as a PRO of the Year winner, press is not a difficult thing to attain. Any media outlet would lap up a decent story and especially a free one. It is just a matter of bombarding the media outlets.
Again myself and this website are committed to seeing more boxing on TV in all forms, but I think we have to work toward that goal rather than conjure a conspiracy theory that others have a vendetta against the game.
Paul McCloskey will face Julio Diaz on May 5 and to be honest I have no problem at all with this fight. Even though at 32 years old Diaz’s best days are slipping behind him, Julio was once a serious player on the world scene at light-welterweight and won versions of ‘world’ titles. Better to have a has-been than a never-was. Currently boasting a 37-7 with 27 knockouts ‘The Kidd’ has twice held IBF belts, winning the latter against Jesus Chavez when, if I remember correctly, Chavez damaged his knee and was unable to continue. Diaz has mixed with the likes of Javier Jauregui, Angel Manfredy, Jose Luis Castillo, Juan Diaz and Kendall Holt and enters the Belfast ring with a huge wealth of experience behind him. Even though he has lost many of the big assignments over a 13-year career he did upset the odds just three fights ago and pull of a wide 10 round points win over Herman Ngoudjo in mid-2010.
So McCloskey will have to be on his guard against this wily old campaigner. Not that I would’ve complained if the likes of Curtis Woodhouse had been in the opposite corner, as was being mooted just a couple of weeks ago. McCloskey needs to earn a wage like everybody else and long spells out of the ring will be of no benefit to him, so if the elusive world title shot is still no closer to materialising it makes sense to at least keep him active. The first (and hopefully not last) Belfast Prizefighter will make up the undercard and not only that but it will be an all-Irish affair with hungry domestic fighters making up the eight slots. Usually a Prizefighter tournament is the main even in itself so to have McCloskey headlining on top of this is a great bonus.
Speaking of that Prizefighter middleweight tournament, several names have already been confirmed. It has the potential to be a fascinating format with the right mix of quality prospects, men with something to prove and a little bit of needle throw in for good measure. It’s too early to pick a winner but I would initially lean towards Eamon O’Kane, although with some slots still remaining unfilled we shall wait and see who else is drafted in. O’Kane has a strong amateur pedigree, which included a Commonwealth Games gold medal and experience in the World Series of Boxing. The Dungiven man fights at a ferocious pace, with a strong engine and blasts in each hook (minus a jab) with serious intent.
Mark Heffron meanwhile has introduced himself to the Irish fans through brief glimpses of ability on a couple for undercards since signing with Gary Hyde. Anthony Fitzgerald is never shy to offer his opinions, especially on Ballymena’s Joe Rea (who has previous Prizefighter experience) and fans will be hoping that the draw pulls out the pair so that they can settle their differences once and for all. Roscommon’s Darren Cruise will bring strong support to the Northern capital and look to reassert his reputation after a slightly tainting loss to Lee Murtagh in Castlebar last August, which Cruise will no doubt put down to experience.
So who else will likely get the final spaces? It would be nice to see a Belfast boxer get the shout. Perhaps someone like Joe Hillerby fits the bill in that respect. Australian-based Dennis Hogan seems a popular choice on other articles here at Irish-boxing.com. I must confess that I have not seen Hogan fight but he seems to have plenty of vocal backing. Lee Murtagh has been mentioned but I’m not sure that the format suits his style. If Brendan Fitzpatrick can get down middleweight (and I have no reason to suppose that he can’t) then I would definitely put him in. New York-based Arklow man James Moore has apparently thrown his name in to the mix and would be a very strong inclusion if that were to come off. If not then perhaps Galway’s unbeaten Alan Donnellan could force his way in, with one of the McDonagh brothers or even Belfast’s Ciaran Healy is worthy of consideration.
Either way it’s good to see all eight spaces filled with Irish fighters. Even though many will not mean anything to the Sky viewers or producers did we really want to see the likes of Danny Butler, Max Maxwell, Paul Samuels or a selection of better-known UK fighters thrown in just because their names are slightly more recognisable? I certainly didn’t. I think this makes for a much more exciting evening’s boxing and you can expect all eight combatants to raise their games to that extra notch given the fact that they will be facing fighters they already know, have probably sparred with and hail from different parts of the same island. All will be vying for local bragging rights and domestic pride. So let’s get it on!
Chris Graham ran his first professional boxing event on Saturday, February 25 and it moved smoothly enough (from what I saw anyway) and I really don’t envy anybody who takes on the running of a small hall show. Notable winners on the evening were Anthony Cacace, Joe Hillerby and Raymond Ginley who all scored first round knockouts, as did Willie Casey but there wasn’t too much to learn that we didn’t already know before the Limerick man’s brief performance. Stiffer tests will come for the ‘Big Bang’ who reckons that a Dublin title fight could be on the agenda in the coming months. Mark Ginley was involved in fight of the night after a back-and-forth tussle with Johnny Greaves, who rarely fails to entertain with his unique approach to showboating. Gerard Healy also pleased his fan base with a shutout win over Oleksiy Chukov.
Posted February 28th, 2012 in Features
By Jonny Stapleton
WILLIE Casey called for big fights after his first round knock out victory in Belfast last Saturday night and it seems ‘Big Bang’ might just get his chance to explode back onto the big time.
The charismatic Limerick puncher could bully the ‘Kid’, Kid Galahad that is, after promoter Mick Hennessy revealed a fight between the duo is in the offing.
The Southill southpaw did hint at a return to title action in Dublin in April last Saturday night, but the former European Champion and Prizefighter winner could be tempted by the opportunity to defeat the rising star of the ‘New Generation’ live on Channel 5.
Hennessy claims the fight is in the pipeline and he is eager to make in Sheffield for April or May.
“There is a lot of interest in that fight and we are looking at April-May time to get that on in Sheffield. It is in the pipeline. It is just a case of dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s. That would be another stiff test for Kid and it would be another step up in his development. Willie is a good quality operator. He has won the prizefighter title, been a European champion and lost just one fight so he has got good pedigree.” Galahad’s promoter revealed.
By Jonny Stapleton
KIKO Martinez will present Carl Frampton with the opportunity to become super bantamweight champion of Europe in Belfast this summer- provided the Spaniard emerges unscathed from mandatory defence in France this weekend.
The three time European champion defends against Arsen Martirosyan in Lyon on March 3 and having beaten the Armenian fighter in Dublin late last year is confident of retaining his continental crown.
If ‘Mini Tyson’ does re strap the famous blue belt around his waist on Saturday he is then willing to put it on the line against ‘The Jakal’ and is eager to do so in Belfast.
Martinez, who has significant Irish previous having beaten Bernard Dunne in a round, is now managed by Belfast’s Pat Magee, meaning the fight should be easy enough to make.
Irish boxing’s fastest rising star, Frampton was due to face the knock out specialist last September, but Martinez pulled out for personal reason, in turn raising doubts re his desire to defend against Barry McGuigan’s protégé.
However Pat Magee told Mirror Sport Team Kiko are targeting a summer showdown with Commonwealth champion.
“Kiko faces Martirosvan on March 3. Having beaten him comfortably already he is confident he can do it again. After that he has the opportunity to do a couple of voluntary defences. The obvious one for us is a European title fight with Frampton. Kiko will fight Frampton if Frampton’s team want it and more to the point Kiko is more than willing to come to Belfast.” said Magee.
Team Frampton certainly want the bout and promoter Eddie Hearn told Mirror Sport earlier this month he is targeting Martinez, Willie Casey or Rendall Munroe for a summer homecoming for the undefeated Belfast Boy-who defends his Commonweatlh crown in Shefield on March 17.
By Paddy Appleton
It could be easy to forget about Armagh’s Stephen Haughian. Things have been tough for the Lurgan fighter since his huge clash with Junior Witter fell through last September.
Haughian was all set for a crack at Witter on the undercard of Tyson Fury’s Belfast clash with Nicolai Firtha until he sustained a neck injury in training just a week before the fight.
‘The Witter fight falling through was gutting to say the least. To train for 2 months and for it to fall through on me the last week was terrible.
“Sometimes things happen for a reason and besides the injury another couple of things weren’t right, so I’m not going to dwell on it too long and I’m looking forward to putting the disappointment behind me.”
Times have been tough since, the Witter fight could have been the springboard to bigger things, but the injury put paid to that.
Stephen has been keeping himself busy though with his own exercise classes and he feels that to dwell on what could have been will do him no favours at all.
“Since then I have just been doing training and running fitness sessions in schools as a way to make a living. If you don’t get a fight you don’t get paid, so at least by running fitness classes I am making a living and keeping myself in shape also.
“I’m not really worried about the Witter fight, as I think he is on the verge of retiring. He doesn’t hold a title and is therefore of no real benefit to me.”
Interesting words from Haughian and when we asked him who he had in mind next we got even better responses.
“I would like to get a crack at Colin Lynes for the British title or Frankie Gavin. I would put my title on the line for that one.”
A fight with Lynes would be a terrific prospect for Haughian and fans alike, but his thoughts on having a crack at Frankie Gavin would also leave fans drooling with anticipation.
Stephen Haughian wants the fights that the fans want and hopefully his promoters see eye to eye with him on that, however he confirmed to us that nothing is set in stone yet and such fights are pure speculation.
Haughian had his dream fight cruelly snatched from him by fate last September, but it could be a blessing in disguise as the proficient Irishman looks forward to bringing the best fights available to his fans in the near future, and that can only be a good thing.