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20 All-Irish Fights for 2020

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A new year means a new list of potential match-ups to be made and there are some all-Irish fights we really want to see in 2020.

Below we list 20 potential bouts across the weight classes.

We have tried to stay as realistic as possible as well as steering clear of pairings that require you to assume a result or ‘winner of A v B versus C’.

Therefore, with so many big fights already booked in for 2020, we were somewhat limited here but managed to list 2020 in the end.

Let us know your all-Irish fights for 2020.

Conor Cooke v Dee Sullivan
A fun Summer knock to start us off. Having suffered a shock defeat, the Vanilla Gorilla is on the comeback trail while Cooke is keen on a jump up in class having seen a fight with Nathan Thorley fall through.

Steve Collins Jr v Vladimir Belujsky
Super Middleweight
Belujsky v Padraig McCrory has been constantly called for so we’ve taken a different angle here. Collins was well in his fight with McCrory before a final round stoppage and a clash with Belujsky would be a war – with the winner potentially going on to face ‘The Hammer’.

Conrad Cummings v Alfredo Meli
A rematch of one of the 2015 Fights of the Year. Meli has so far not gotten the opportunity to build on his sensational win over Araik Marutjan last time out. Whether Cummings boxes on after two losses in 2019 remains to be seen but, if he does, this history-filled match-up is surely the fight to make.

Chris Blaney v Craig McCarthy
An obvious Irish title clash, the pair fought to a bloody draw for the BUI Celtic belt in Manchester last month and the fight has to happen again – hopefully in Ireland this time!

Connor Coyle v Jason Quigley
A North-West derby that could suit both men. Quigley is on the rebuild and a domestic victory over an unbeaten boxer could help pole vault him up. Coyle has previously stated his desire for this bout and a win would see him go from under-the-radar to a major name in Irish boxing.

Steven Donnelly v Craig O’Brien
Light Middleweight
A fight which has been called for by many and one which – if Irish champion O’Brien doesn’t relocate his career to America – is perfect for 2019 and the Féile an Phobail.

Jay Byrne v Caoimhin Agyarko
Light Middleweight
The explosive Agyarko climbed well in 2019 and is now title-eligible. Byrne would be a step-up for the Belfast youngster and an intriguing match-up over a longer distance.

Eddie Treacy v Domimic Donegan
Light Middleweight
There are plenty of potential ‘domestic’ fights at 154lbs but this is our favourite. Treacy has seemingly crazy power while Donegan is destructive himself too. What a war this would be.

Paddy Gallagher v Lewis Crocker
Former gym-mates and frequent sparring partners, it could be a fight to make with Gallagher’s path to a second British title fight seemingly being blocked. Crocker, though, has to get through a tough fight with John Thain first.

Keane McMahon v John Joyce
McMahon is only now on the comeback trail following his BUI Celtic title loss while Joyce is only just back from the Lebanon with the Irish Army. Give the two of them a fight or two before a big Dublin derby for the Irish title at the end of the year.

Aaron McKenna v Rohan Daté
McKenna is going to be stepped up fast in 2020 and Daté is set to box in America following a strong last 12 months. Could their paths align?

Noely Murphy v Larry Fryers
Light Welterweight
A fight suggested last year, the two New York-based boxers would go on to suffer prideful defeats on big cards in the Big Apple and now may be the time for them to finally meet.

Stevie McKenna v Sean Duffy
There’s history between the pair, with Duffy having won an Ulster Championships semi-final meeting back in 2017. Both now rising prospects, it could be a nice early-career crossroads clash.

John Joe Nevin v Feargal McCrory
Super Featherweight
Nevin now holds a WBA rankings belt and, promotionally flexible, is looking for big fights. An all-Irish clash back on the East Coast with McCrory, who is now based in New York, would be an intriguing cat versus mouse affair.

Allan Phelan v Stephen McAfee
Super Featherweight
A fight-anyone warrior, McAfee would have no issues here, especially for an Irish title. Phelan hasn’t fought since his impressive win over Aiden Metcalfe and really needs to get a move-on – with this well-gelled clash an exciting proposition.

Ciaran McVarnock v Niall O’Connor
Super Featherweight
Another match-up that would provide fireworks, O’Connor is itching to get back in the ring while McVarnock, too, is primed for a big fight. Indeed, with so many super featherweights around, there could be a series of fights here.

Kelvin McDonald v Jamie Douglas
Super Featherweight
The Ulster duo have semi-pro previous and both are keen on meaningful fights soon. Surely a sure-thing for a Celtic Clash bill this year.

Mathew Fitzsimons v Liam Gaynor
Super Featherweight
Two Irishmen based now in Greater Manchester, this could be a nice home-away-from-home derby to be made towards the end of the year.

Siobhan O’Leary v Elaine Greenan
Super Featherweight
Still the only possible all-Irish women’s pro fight that can be made at present, the pair need to meet. With BUI Celtic belts contested over six rounds and Irish titles over eight, there’s no reason why there can’t be something on the line either.

Dylan McDonagh v Sam Carroll
Super Bantamweight
In terms of active fighters on the Irish scene, this pair really only have each other at the moment. Youth versus experience, counter-puncher versus relentless aggression, it’s a nice mesh.

Photo Credits: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)


Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie