Author Archives: Jonny Stapleton
By Jonny Stapleton
RYAN Burnett is determined to ensure his debut fight tonight proves worth the wait for both him and the expectant public.
The Belfast teen signed pro terms with Ricky Hatton 14 months ago, but medical issues prevented him from making his debut up and until tonight.
The youth Olympic gold medal winner finally punches for pay at the Olympia in Liverpool and is planning to put his frustration behind him by stealing the show.
“Those fight nerves are starting to creep in, but I haven’t had them for a while so they feel good. It will be a relief to finally fight. have had a few set backs, but everything is sorted now and I have had a good training camp and I am just looking forward to fighting.”
Having been refused a licence early last year, Burnett is just content to be fighting. He hasn’t set out any grand plans. He is happy to take it one fight at a time in a division in which prospects usually progress fairly rapidly.
“I have been training with Ricky Hatton for 14 months. I spent time adapting myself to the pro game and I have learnt a lot. Now hopefully I have a good debut. I will take it step by step. I am here to fight. If it takes 12 months to get in title contention great. If it takes 2 years i don’t mind once I get those belts and get to fight in Belfast eventually.”
Posted May 24th, 2013 in News
Those in the know are talking about Anthony Cacace.
The wiry, heavy-handed Belfast super-featherweight was named Irish Prospect of the year and journeyman Kristian Laight rates him among the top talents he’s faced in his 160 -fight career.
Cacace was a top amateur – he won 150 of his 162 bouts, won Irish honours, boxed in European championships – and has yet to lose a round in the paid ring.
He aims to make it nine wins out of nine in County Mayo on Saturday, June 8.
Assassin Promotions have matched him with Yordan Vasilev on their massive show at the Breaffy House Resort in Castlebar – and it could be the 24 year-old’s toughest fight yet.
Vasilev claimed the vacant International Masters lightweight championship in February by out toughing fans’ favourite Floyd Moore in nine bloody, give-and-take rounds and Cacace says this is the type of test he wants.
“This guy is well thought of,” he said, “so it’s a good fight for me. The quicker I get up the rankings the better.”
Cacace is heading towards a crack at British champion Gary Buckland – “he has a good work rate, but there are ways around that” – and reckons he has the tools to go beyond domestic level.
“There was a boxing gym on our street and there was nowhere else to go,” he said. “I went there when I was 10 years old and because I’ve been boxing so long, I’ve got a good boxing brain. I can counter punch and hit hard.”
Cacace says he’s determined to fulfil his potential after ditching his party lifestyle.
“I got sick of boxing for a while when I was a teenager,” he admitted. “I fell out of love with the game. I was young and wanted to go out enjoying myself, so that’s what I did. I went out partying and didn’t box for three years.
“But I realised that boxing was the only thing I’m good at – and it was breaking my daddy’s heart when I wasn’t boxing.
“He loves boxing and loves watching me box.
“I had to get back into boxing for my family and myself and I’m doing it properly this time.
“I’m training three times every day. I’m not messing about any more.”
The County Mayo bill is stacked with talent including Irish champions Paddy and JJ McDonagh and former world amateur champion Hughie Fury.
“It’s a cracking bill,” said Cacace. “There are lots of 50-50 fights and I’m looking forward to being part of it.”
Tickets are available from 087 6595567 or 094902203 or online atwww.assassinboxing.co.uk
Posted May 24th, 2013 in News
The Anorak is an anonymous boxing fanatic with his finger on the pulse. Using his anonymity he will post honest and revealing monthly comment pieces with www.irish-boxing.com.
THERE IS no smoke without fire, they say.
However, while smoke signals are certainly bellowing from the bridges burning between Team Frampton and Matchroom at present, fight fans and pundits seems to be interpreting them in conflicting manners.
The boxing rumour mill-probably only second to The Enquirer in the amount of gossip it generates on a weekly basis- has been churning out differing stories as to why the talented Belfast world title hopeful has yet to announce a summer fight date.
The official line from Hearn is Frampton will appear on an under card in England over the summer, as the promoter doesn’t feel comfortable promoting in Belfast in June or July.
Team Frampton admit to being frustrated by the lack of a date and have openly stated their desire to fight in ‘The Jackal’s’ home town in June, before returning to fight for a world title in September. A plan that was laid out by both parties imediately after Frampton’s brilliant European title win over Kiko Martinez in Febraury.
However, keyboards warriors, who seem to have become more refined, evolving into keyboard spies and espionage experts have suggest a number of reason for the cracks in a relationship that has been mutually beneficial to this point.
One unconfirmed and most likely untrue story suggests Hearn had IBF world champion Jonathan Romero lined up for a massive fight in Belfast, much to the delight of Frampton. However, it is said complications regarding contracts and money scuppered such plans, forcing Hearn to punish one of his leading stars.
Another rumour suggests Team Frampton were so disappointed with news their charge was to be used as support to David Haye’s Matchroom debut and not as a bill topper in his home town, that they considered severing ties.
Indeed there were (once again unconfirmed suggestions) Frampton had been pimped out to a number of TV Networks and Promoters around the world as he prepared to move away from what is becoming an very populated stable.
The Anorak is sure neither are true and knows the truth to what is an obvious rift may never be known, but is praying unlike the brilliant Sky football show of the mid 90′s this Dream Team doesn’t come to an end.
While The Anorak would understand Frampton’s desire to secure the best deal for himself and supports the biggest name in Irish boxing at present’s bid to become a world champion, I know a move that might personally suit Frampton isn’t a great move for Irish boxing as a whole.
Eddie Hearn is the only show in town. The Matchroom boss is Irish fighters only hope of Sky TV. The promoter men want to be and women want to be with only is also the only man that can provide Irish fight fans with Bernard Dunne style grandiose 10,000 seater fight nights.
If Frampton elects to relocate to America the likes of Paul McCloskey, Eamonn O’Kane, Martin Lindsay, Jamie Conlan and many more will loose out.
On the last Hearn Belfast card Lindsay fought for a British title, a shot he most likely wouldn’t have got if Hearn hadn’t had a big show in his home town. Conlan put himself into title contention with a win over the tough Jamie Robinson. World title challenger Andy Lee returned home and gave Anthony Fitzgerald a chance to show case his dogged talents to a massive TV audience.
The show prior Paul McCloskey returned to winning ways live on Sky claiming a WBA Inter continental title in the process.
If Frampton parts ways with Hearn Irish fighters title chances will be diminished, as will Irish fight fans hopes of seeing title ladden shows.
Some will suggest Hearn will cultivate a new Irish star if the relationship goes bust, but that seems unlikely. Sky Sports, who Hearn is tide at the hip with, are already adverse to packing up their kit and shipping it to Belfast. They bemoan the cost, but are tempted by the pulling power of Frampton and the TV friendly atmosphere the Belfast fight fans generate when he fights.
Frampton, his viewing figures and the fact he is one of only a number of punchers who sells out stadia are currently enough to excite Adam Smith and lure him the current captial of Irish boxing.
The Sky boss is also be hopeful that a deal to fight Scott Quigg could also be signed, meaning Sky would get one of the biggest domestic busts up in recent history. However, without the Jackal toping Belfast bills Sky will most likely lean on Hearn to avoid crossing the pond at all costs.
Granted Frampton will one day fight in America, but by that time undercard fighters like Jamie Conlan and co could be stars in thier own right and might have a Sky following.
So for now Irish fight fans should play cupid to ensure the love between Matchroom and Team Frampton is rekindled. In turn making sure the only smoke signals in sight will be those from candle lit dinners between the Team Frampton and the Matchroom boss.
Posted May 23rd, 2013 in Features
IRISH fight fans could be back chanting the name of Steve Collins in London on July 5.
No, ‘The Celtic Warrior’ hasn’t signed to fight Roy Jones, rather Steve Collin’s Jr looks set to make his career debut.
The 23 year old member of Lansdowne’s Rugby clubs AIL League winning outfit will fight on the same bill as Steven Ormond in the York Hall in a just over a month.
Collin’s Jr will leave rugby’s front row for the fight trenches and will debut at heavyweight.
Like his father’s arch rival’s Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn’s sons Collin’s Jnr will follow in his fathers footsteps and punch for pay. However considering he is much heavier than both Chris Eubank Jr and Nigel Benn’s son a return to the Eubank, Benn, Collins rivalry doesn’t look likely.
Speaking to The Star about the former London Wasp and London Irish hooker, Steve Collins snr said.
“He loves playing with Lansdowne, but boxing is something he wants to try, something he might if he didn’t do it. Talks are ongoing at the moment and its likely to happen in early July.”
The Men’s U/18 Championships will be decided this weekend with seven finals and three semi-finals pencilled in for Friday at Dublin’s National Stadium.
The 64kg,69kg and 91kg finals will be decided on Saturday, May 25th.
Boxing begins at 7pm on Friday.
U/18 Championships S/Finals and Finals May 24th (7pm)
49kg: Leigh Moran (Illies Golden Gloves) v Jason McKay (Canal)
52Kg: Gary Cully (St Davids) v Joseph McDonagh (St Marys)
56kg: Keith Flavin (Paulstown) v Kurt Walker (Canal)
60kg: Michael McDonagh (St Pauls) v Darren Pollock (St Agnes)
64kg: Bernaldo Marime (Holy Trinity) v Michael O’Reilly (Tramore)
64kg: Wayne Kelly (Ballinacargy) v Shane O’Neill (St Davids Naas)
69kg: Charlie McDonagh (Clann Naofa) v John Stokes (Mulhuddart)
69kg: John Paul Conroy (Crumlin) v Caoimhin Hynes (Holy Trinity)
75kg: Conor Wallace (Sacred Heart) v Martin Conroy (Ballyhaunis)
81kg: Michael Gallagher (Finn Valley) v Patrick Gaffey (Clann Naofa)
91kg: Cian O’Shaughnessy (Rathkeale) v James Hughes (Ryston)
91+kg: David Joyce (Moate) v James Barrett (Titans)
Posted May 23rd, 2013 in Amateur
Four different Irish teams will step between the ropes this weekend in Tyholland, Co. Monaghan as they do battle with their Scottish counterparts. Some of the best up and coming boxers in the country will be in action over two excellent days of boxing. This is a not to be missed occasion for anyone with even a passing interest in sport! The potential stars of our next Olympic games will do battle for their country in the ‘Oriel’, or more commonly used, ‘Farney’ county.
The Scottish backroom team are as follows:
Coaches – Danny Lee, Bert McShane, Archie Durie, Ian McDonald and Barry Clark
Referees – Ian Hyslop and Adam Scott
Judge – Wullie Arbuckle
Team Manager – Jimmy Dunn.
Boxing begins on Friday evening in the Tyholland Community Centre at 6:30pm.
Boxing begins on Saturday at 5pm.
Entry is €10 for adults and €5 for children.
There will be 28 bouts on both Friday and Saturday.
All boxers must present for a weigh-in on the day of their bout. The weigh-in takes place in the Westenra Hotel, Monaghan Town between 2pm-3pm (both days).
All boxers must have their boxing/record book at the weigh-in.
Food will be provided for all boxers following the weigh-in. The venue for the boxing, Tyholland Community Centre, is approximately 3 miles from the weigh-in zone.
One club coach, who will work the corner for his boxer along with a High Performance coach will get free entry to the venue, when accompanying his boxer. All other coaches must pay at the door.
Please see below attachment.
Posted May 23rd, 2013 in Amateur
CLARE’S CIAN Dalton goes into his second pro bout on Saturday night with the praise of some of the top fighters on the Pittsburgh and Youngstown, Ohio circuit ringing in his years.
Dalton, who successfully debuted against Ohio’s Rock Presley on the Double Duty III bill at Elizabeth, PA’s Courttime Sports Complex on Saturday, goes to work on the latest installment of Double Duty, Double Duty IV.
He takes on James Denson (5-13) and despite downsizing from light heavyweight to super middleweight he seems to have upgraded in power.
The Ennis native has been sparring former Nathan Cleverly foe Tom Karpency amongst others ahead of his Rosetraver Ice Gardens hosted fight and has been receiving rave reviews about his punch power.
Like Dalton, Denson is coming down from light hsburgh and Youngstown, Ohio areas.
“Cian is in tremendous shape for this fight. His diet, work ethic and self-discipline are second to none. On multiple occasions, his various sparring partners have commented that he hits harder than anyone that they have previously faced.” manager and co trainer Michael McSorley Jr. told Irish-boxing.com this week before Dalton commented on the bout himself.
“I’ve trained very hard and feel strong at super middle. No problems moving down in weight. We’ve had plenty of good sparring around Pittsburgh and further afield.”
KATIE Taylor is planning to fight professionally in the World Series of Boxing before the year is out.
Taylor will break new ground again by competing the in the tournament, that see’s the worlds top amateurs compete without vests and head guards over five three minute rounds, but still maintain their amateur status.
The WSB had hoped to pit the Olympic Gold Medal winner against then professional Pound for Pound star, Holy Holm earlier this year, but the AIBA blocked what probably would have proved one the biggest fights in women’s boxing history.
However, it seems the greatest female fighter on the planet may get to showcase her skills to a wider audience as her coach and father Peter Taylor revealed she could compete in the WSB this year.
Taylor also revealed they are trying to get Queen Underwood, the fighter who came closest to defeating Taylor over the last few years to Dublin for a bout.
“After the EU Championships Katie has been talking about fighting in the WSB in and around September or October. We are also planning to box Queen Underwood over here in Dublin. That will be a big contest,” said her father and coach Pete when speaking to the Irish times Tuesday.
“There are no women boxing in the WSB so it will be the first female fight in the competition against another girl. It’s going to be interesting. It won’t be Queen Underwood in the WSB but someone else. We don’t yet know who that will be.”
“It will be another first,” added Pete. “I think the bout is going to be over eight two-minute rounds. We just need to find out exactly what it entails, the head gear, no head gear . . . there’s a few things to be investigated first. It’s exciting times ahead . . . there haven’t been that many international tournaments for her this year anyway.”
RYAN BURNETT believes he’ll take to the professional side of the sport like the proverbial duck to water.
The Belfast prospect boxes for the first time without the vest and head guard on a show held in association with Steve Wood’s VIP Promotions at the Olympia in Liverpool tomorrow night.
And feels the time he’s spent in the gym with trainer Ricky Hatton will help him make a perfect start.
“I think it’ll come natural to me because I’ve prepared myself for so long for it,” the 20-year-old said.
“The amateurs is a lot different to the pros and I think I’ve got a good lead on other people turning over. Some boxers struggle when they fight without a head guard for the first time, but I’m more than ready for it.
“I’ve in the gym for over 14 months with Ricky and we’ve been working on tactics for the pro game.
“I can’t wait for it now. I’ve been counting down the days since I got the date and I plan on putting on a good show.”
While his debut is coming a far distance from his native Belfast, Burnett believes the Liverpool Olympia will feel like a home away from home because of the support that will be backing him.
“I’m going to have a good crowd behind me. It costs a lot of money to come over from Belfast because of the cost of flights and things like that, but I expect a lot to be cheering me on,” he said.
“I’ve also got a few fans coming down from Manchester so it should be a good atmosphere and I intend on sending them home happy.”
Heavyweight star Hughie Fury goes looking for his fourth straight win in as many fights tomorrow, May 24, Timisoara, Romania.
Hughie takes on former K1 experienced fighter Janos Finfera over four three-minute rounds.
“Hughie is going to do what he naturally does and that is provide a fine display of boxing,” Peter Fury said.
The 6’7″ teenager will be looking to make a big impression in the only boxing fight on the Klash Series event, which includes Kempo kickboxing and MMA.
In Hughie’s last contest he dominated the experienced Moses Matovu at Belfast City Hall, Belfast, having previously beaten Alex Rozman at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York.
Shown on network television in the US on NBC and on terrestrial television in the UK on Channel 5, the 18-year-old younger cousin of heavyweight sensation Tyson Fury, put Rozman to the canvas twice before the referee stepped in to stop the contest in only the first round.
For Hughie, the first ever Irish/British fighter to win a gold medal at the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships at super heavyweight, that followed his emphatic second-round knockout victory over David Whittom on his professional debut.
Now, he takes aim at Finfera who is a very tricky and awkward opponent, skilled at grappling through his K1 background.
The main event of the night sees rising Romanian kickboxing stars Razvan Ghita and Razvan Benche collide.
Tyson Fury will also be ringside as a special guest at the event.