‘The Jackal’ defends his WBO interim featherweight belt against Aussie Luke Jackson with former unified heavyweight champ Tyson Fury and a world title fight for Paddy Barnes v WBC flyweight champ Cristofer Rosales already confirmed.
This evening the bill was boosted by the addition of an all-Irish BUI Celtic vacant title fight between light heavyweights Steven Ward [7(3)-0] and Stevie Collins Jr [12(4)-1(0)-1], along with scheduled appearances for middleweight Luke Keeler [14(5)-2(1)-1], welterweight Lewis Crocker [6(6)-0], and super featherweight Marco McCullough [19(11)-4(3)].
Newtownabbey’s Ward is a stablemate of headliner Frampton under Jamie Moore and will be stepping up to eight rounds for the first time on the bill. He last fought in April, stopping the undersized and overmatched Michal Ciach. A fighter keen for, and desperately in need of, a step-up, Ward has been given that, and then some in Collins.
The Castleknock puncher has rebuilt from his Irish title loss to Paddy McDonagh last Summer, scoring two points wins in Belfast. Out of action since December, ‘The Wolfhound’ enjoyed some training over on the U.S. West Coast since then and is now back in camp in Inchicore under Steven O’Rourke.
McDonagh still holds the Irish title and was due to put it on the line versus David Bailey this coming weekend only for injury to prevent this. It is aimed that this title fight will take place in September.
Ballyfermot middleweight Keeler will also be in a title fight on the bill, defending his WBO European crown and #13 world ranking won off Conrad Cummings on the Frampton-Donaire bill in April. No opponent has been confirmed for ‘Cool Hand’ who is now training with Joe Clifford while Pete Taylor, who is still heavily involved, recovers from surgery.
21-year-old phenom Crocker is set to be back in the ring just seven weeks on from his stunning first-round bodyshot KO of Adam Grabiec at the weekend on the Mick Conlan Homecoming bill – an encouraging level of activity for the heavy-handed Sandy Row welter.
Shankill super feather McCullough is another that featured on the Frampton-Donaire bill in April. No opponent has been confirmed for McCullough but the press release from Frank Warren suggests that it will be a minor fight on the card as he continues his rebuilding towards another title shot.
The promoter said that “I’m delighted that further Irish talent has been added to this already bumper card. The Ward v Collins Jr showdown is set to be a great fight for the fans on a card that already boasts Frampton v Jackson, the lineal World heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and Paddy Barnes’ World title challenge against Cristofer Rosales.
“I’ve been very impressed so far with Lewis Crocker who looks to have a great future and in my experience of promoting cards where Marco McCullough and Luke Keeler have featured, they are always in entertaining fights. This is set to be the biggest night of boxing to ever take place in Belfast and we can’t wait to watch it all unfold amongst what I’m sure will be a fantastic atmosphere and a full house at Windsor Park.”