2018 Preview – Cruiserweight and Heavyweight

It’s time for our final preview of the year ahead – the big men. The cruiserweight and heavyweight divisions may not be as packed as some of the lower weights, but there are some exciting fighters.

Read our preview of the flyweight, super flyweight, and bantamweight divisions HERE.

Read our preview of the super bantamweight and featherweight divisions HERE.

Read our preview of the super featherweights HERE.

Read our preview of the lightweights HERE.

Read our preview of the light welterweights HERE.

Read our preview of the welterweights HERE.

Read our preview of the light middleweights HERE.

Read our preview of the middleweights HERE.

Read our preview of the super middleweight and light heavyweight divisions HERE.

Cruiserweight – 200lbs (90.7kg)
Irish champion – vacant
BUI Celtic champion – vacant

At the Top
Mike Perez [22(14)-3(1)-1] was unsuccessful in his world title challenge last year but, in giving WBC champion Mairis Briedis the toughest fight of his career, proved that he can be an elite level cruiser. The Cork-Cuban makes his return to the ring next month in Waterford and it is a case of rebuilding and biding his time. WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk is a hot favourite to win the World Boxing Super Serie and unify the world titles. Should this happen, the Ukrainian is expected by many to step up to the heavyweight division and leave the belts vacant and perhaps present Perez with another chance should he manoeuver himself well this year.

Targeting Titles
Following two wins at the tail-end of last year, Tommy McCarthy [11(6)-1(0)] is aiming for a big fight next. However, there looks to be a dearth of available domestic opposition, with Matty Askin defending his British title versus Stephen Simmons and negotiations with Commonwealth champion Luke Watkins going nowhere. A fight with Craig Kennedy is one which McCarthy is keen on, however the Mac Attack may have to look further afield in the immediate future.

Domestically
Following two successive losses, it is unsure what Dublin veteran Ian Tims [13(4)-5(3)] will do next. At the other end of the scale, ‘The Gallant’ Gary Sweeney [4(4)-0] will want to continue building his record. Currently awaiting coccyx surgery, it perhaps would be a good move to put Sweeney in with small heavyweights in an attempt to give him rounds.

Both Michael Gallagher [1(1)-0] and Johnny Corcoran [1(1)-0] made impressive debut last year in Dublin, but are yet to fight again. Two talents who can punch, it is hoped that they will get back in the ring in 2018 – maybe even against each other.

We also welcome back Declan Trainor [2(2)-1(1)] as well as welcome debutants Chris Scuvie and Conor Cooke to the scene – three heavy-hitting fighters that will spice up the domestic division.

Heavyweight – +200lbs (+90.7kg)
Irish champion – vacant
BUI Celtic champion – vacant

The Big Three
Sean Turner [12(8)-1(0)] scored a huge win in Switzerland against Arnold Gjergjaj last month and has opened up a whole new avenue of fights for himself. Now #14 in the EU, this vacant title could be a good target for the year – especially considering the top eight or so in the rankings are unlikely to fight for the belt. Closer to home, Turner will definitely be on the radars of both Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren, and there are potential opportunities as an opponent for the like of Dave Allen, Nathan Gorman, or even Dereck Chisora.

Another big away winner last year, Niall Kennedy [10(6)-0] upset Alexis Santos and the Murphys Boxing man now will want to go to the next level again in 2018. After another few fights it could be time to take on a former contender such as Derrick Rossy, or perhaps even a high-profile bout with Matchroom’s Chisora on the Spike O’Sullivan v Danny Jacobs undercard which is tentatively set for April 28th.

Finally there is Tipperary’s Con Sheehan [6(1)-0] and, after a demoralising hand injury, it will be good just to see the Clonmel man back in the ring to gauge where he is and begin chasing after his two former amateur opponents.

dpg

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