Fitzy Hope-ful he can get European title shot
ANTHONY Fitzgerald will be shouting for Kerry Hope as he defends his European middleweight title against Grzegorz Proska tonight- as he hopes to challenge the Welsh fighter if he retains his crown.
Hope, ironically wasn’t a word associate with the current champ going into his first fight with the touted Pole in March, but he shocked the continent and crashed his way into thoughts of middleweights around the world with a points win in the Motor Point Arena.
The pair rematch this evening and ‘The Pride’ will be lending his support to his fellow Celt and wants to fight the 30 year old despite Eddie Hearn’s desire to put the winner in with Darren Barker.
The inner City Dub, who holds the EBA European title, believes a fight with the current champion could be easier to make, and stressed the public would love nothing more than a Hope Pride battle.
“I was impressed with Hope last time out. He had nothing to lose and gave it a go. It was great to see someone do that. Boxing needs more underdogs like that. I hope he wins tonight and if he does I want him. I know I am ready for that level. I would fight anyone with a title and that goes for Proska too. It is just I can’t see Proska taking on another risk and unknown entity after last time,” Fitzgerald said.
“The winner might have been linked with Barker but I think Hope might want one more fight before he takes Barker on and I am here to provide the challenge. I know I can beat him and earn a shot at Barker.”
‘Fitzy’ is looking to progress his career and bounce back from his early exit in the All Irish Prizefighter, which played out in May.
The Phil Sutcliffe trained middleweight is adamant he should of won what was called ‘one of the greatest fights Prizefighter has ever served up’ and believes he proved he is ready for championship level over the last few years.
However, if he can’t secure a break through fight he is willing to open up old Joe Rea wounds on Mathcroom’s September 22 card in Belfast.
“I won that fight in Prizefighter. I was never going to get the decision O’Kane was the golden boy and he was lucky to win it. He is a good fighter and a lovely lad, but he admitted himself he was bunched after our fight. I was grand after the fight and I was the one that hurt him during it. I put him down, but didn’t get the knock down? If we can’t get Hope r Proska I am open to offers. Eddie Hearn said he wanted to see me and Joe Rea go at it, I don’t know why because that would be a one sided affair in my favour. Eddie knows I bring knows I bring a big crowd from Dublin and it would be nice to give them another days shopping in Belfast and night celebrating a Fitzgerald win. So I am open to that.”