The young Dublin outfit run ‘Champions Elect‘ at the home of Irish boxing, a bill which includes a big headliner, two title fights, comebacks, domestic dust-ups, and debuts.
Red Corner have developed a reputation for notably tough matchmaking over the past year. Tomorrow’s card is probably slightly more conservative in terms of opposition, partly due to some withdrawals, however there is still plenty to watch out for in what looks to be a solid card.
In the headline bout Cork’s Noely Murphy [11(2)-0] faces Hungarian hardman Gyorgy Mizsei Jr [25(15)-20(8)-1] over eight rounds. A former EBU-EU champion having upset Brunet Zamora for the belt in 2013, Mizsei has also gone the distance with the likes of Terry Flanagan, Anthony Crolla, Dennis Berinchyk, and Thomas Stalker. The 23 year old Magyar will give Murphy a real test and comes into the bout in great form following two big results in Finland – holding Jarkko Putkonen to an eight round draw before defeating him over eight in a rematch.
Chief support sees Craig O’Brien [5(0)-0] move up to eight rounds where he will fight for his first career title. The inner-city light middleweight boxes Breton Alain Alfred [2(1)-4(1)-1] for the BUI Celtic title. Initially due to face a massive step up against former Welsh middleweight champion Lee Churcher, O’Brien now has an easier task against the counter-punching Malagasy fighter – however, especially considering the roundage, he can’t afford to overlook him.
Also moving up to eight rounds for a first title shot will be Navan super middleweight Chris Blaney [8(3)-0] who also fights for the BUI Celtic title. The Ginger Ninja takes on Basque boxer Matiouze Royer [17(4)-30(5)-6] who would be around the same level as his recent tough opposition. The tough Frenchman gave former European super middleweight champion Christopher Rebrasse a tough fight although he could perhaps be slightly on the wane, with four of his five stoppages coming in his last ten fights.
In the big domestic clash on the bill, Dominican Destroyer Manny Bique makes his debut in a four round super middleweight war with Slovak Rebel Vladimir Belujsky [0-0-1].
Allan Phelan [8(5)-3(1)-1] fell to a shock loss last time out, dropping a points decision to journeyman Jamie Quinn, but he is back here looking to make amends. Rather than take a step back, Phelan has gone in with rugged Pole Krzysztof Rogowski [10(5)-21(11)]. A former accomplished amateur, winning EU bronze and holding a win over Carl Frampton in the vest, the Eastern European fighter has since morphed into a journeyman and has been stopped by Irish fighters Eric Donovan and James Tennyson. An opponent who comes to fight, the rugged Rogowski should give Phelan plenty to think about in their four rounder.
Dublin light welter Victor Rabei [1(0)-0] was given a tough test in his debut during the Summer against. Here he takes on Worcester journeyman Michael Mooney [8(3)-37(4)-1] over four. ‘Mad Man’ Mooney can be hard to predict, capable of causing shocks but often just looking to get the rounds in in the more traditional British journeyman sense. Tomorrow will be his first ever fight outside of Britain, and it is hoped that the trip across the Irish Sea will have him up for a fight and be coming to win. Depending on what version of Mooney turns up, it is perhaps a step down for Rabei since his debut, although it is still just his second fight and an opponent perfectly acceptable at this stage of his career.
One of two fighters debuting, Monkstown lightweight Karl Kelly has jumped straight into a tough fight. The 22 year old boxes tough Pole Damian Lawniczak [4(0)-23(4)] over four rounds in what could be one of the fights of the night. The game Eastern European came in at short notice last month and gave another debutant, and a rival of Kelly, a real scare – being edged out by just one point by Aiden Metcalfe.
Also making their pro bow will be Craig McCarthy. The Waterford middleweight takes on Curtis ‘The Entertainer’ Gargano [0-43(4)-1] over four. While the Manchester journeyman certainly puts on a show, his fights usually resemble pantomime rather than a genuine sporting contest – with Gargano looking to entertain rather than win. That being said, it would be unfair to too harshly criticise the matchmaking of a fighter’s debut.