February 15th, 2007
Dancing star Michael Flatley says he can’t wait to be ringside in Cork this weekend for the Valentine’s Weekend Massacre at the City Hall.
The event will see professional boxing return to Leeside for the first time in over a decade and Flatley is predicting that the occasion will be a great success.
The former boxer and Golden Gloves Champ said, “This event in Cork will be a knockout. It’s been so long since there was professional boxing in the city and I’m really looking forward to being ringside. Boxing is a tremendous sport and with all the problems in society today it’s a terrific way to instil discipline and values into kids.
“This show Is Cork can also show local kids that they can aspire to fighting as professionals in their own city so I think it’s a very positive move for sport in Cork and great credit is due to Gary Hyde for promoting it. I’m 100% behind it and really looking forward to it.”
Flately has long been a boxing fan and as a 17-year-old won the Golden Gloves so he knows just what it takes to step between the ropes.
“When you’re in the boxing ring, the hardest, most difficult climb in the world is the steps into that ring, it’s the biggest mountain you will ever climb. When you’re in there, your manager isn’t there, your parents aren’t there to rescue you and you quickly learn that you must prepare if you’re going to get into that boxing ring.
“I grew up in Chicago in a tough neighbourhood and boxing gave me confidence. I was a small, skinny white kid in a mostly black and Mexican neighbourhood. I got picked on but I learned how to fight, and that gave me a confidence and saved me in a lot of different situations. I look back on that time as being a very good time in my life”.
The Cork based entertainer has long been a keen fan of the “Fighting Irish”. “It’s amazing how boxing has produced so many Ireland’s sporting heroes. For example boxers like Barry McGuigan, Wayne McCullough, Michael Carruth, Steve Collins and Bernard Dunne are all Irish heroes.
“I was at the Kings Hall in Belfast when McGuigan defended his world title against Bernard Taylor and with my parents being Irish I had so much pride bursting out of me I couldn’t contain myself!”
A limited number of tickets for Saturday nights show priced at €60, €70 and €80 are available from the Castle Tavern in Riverstown or by phoning 087 242 4898. The “Valentine’s Weekend Massacre” at Cork’s City Hall is proudly supported by Wholesale Floors and the Clarion Hotel.
The full card is as follows:
Welterweight – 6 Rounds: Neil Sinclair V Arek Malek
Welterweight – 6 Rounds: Billy Walsh V Miroslav Kubik
Welterweight – 4 Rounds: Pa Walsh V Tibor Rafael
Light Welterweight – 6 Rounds: Paul McCloskey V Chill John
Light Welterweight – 8 Rounds: Stephen Haughian V Dwayne Hill
Light Welterweight – 8 Rounds: James Gorman V Chris Long