There is going to be plenty of Irish interest on the US East Coast this St Patrick’s Weekend.
Mick Conlan makes his hotly anticipated debut at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on the Friday, while it is believed that Katie Taylor will feature on the Golovkin-Jacobs undercard at the Madison Square Garden Arena on the Saturday. Then there is Connor Coyle and John Cooley who will fight in Florida on the Friday.
However, the House of Blues in Boston on Saturday March 18th looks like it will be the busiest hot-spot in America for Irish action on Lá Fhéile Pádraig.
That night Murphys Boxing plan to run a massive card titled ‘St Patrick’s Clash 2’ with plenty of Irish interest on the bill and the Dropkick Murphys themselves performing live. As has been previously announced, Cork middleweight Spike O’Sullivan will co-headline the bill alongside Mark DeLuca, while his Celtic Warriors gym mate Niall Kennedy will take a step up in rounds and opposition to face Jesse Barboza over eight. There is also an appearance for Athlone welter Paddy Irwin, however perhaps the most intriguing match-up has been left until last.
In what is something of an all-Irish clash, Donegal welterweight Michael McLaughlin Owen [12(5)-1(0)-1] will defend his New England title in a battle of the southpaws against Irish-American Danny O’Connor [27(10)-3(1)] over eight rounds.
32 year old McLaughlin won the belt at the second attempt, following their first fight being ruled a no-contest, against Shakha Moore last July. Framingham’s O’Connor held the same belt back in 2015, knocking out Chris Gilbert on the DeGale-Dirrell undercard.
A big fight for both, Carndonagh scrapper McLaughlin will be looking to claim a statement win. On the other hand, ‘Danny Bhoy’s’ past world title ambitions may have faded but the 31 year old is continuing to fight to raise funds for his mentoring programme ‘Off The Canvas.’
Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey look ahead to 2017 in episode 1 of The Irish Boxing Show