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Conlan set for battle of the Smoes as he secures first title shot

BELFAST’S Jamie Conlan gets his first title fight of his career against Belgium’s Benjamin Smoes as they face off for the vacant WBO European Super Flyweight title on the undercard of Frampton vs Cazares on the 4th of April at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena.

‘This Is Belfast’ will now feature four title fights as well as Carl ‘The Jackal’ Frampton’s official WBC World Super Bantamweight final eliminator against Mexico’s Hugo Cazares in the headline bout. Cyclone Promotion’s other new signing Marc McCullough will face Belarus’ Andrei Isaeu in another vacant WBO European title fight at Featherweight.

Dungiven’s Eamonn ‘King Kane’ O’Kane will face off against Mexico’s Alvaro Gaona in a vacant WBC International Silver Middleweight title scrap and Dublin’s Stephen Ormond defends his WBO European Lightweight title against proven hard-man Karim El Ouazghari of Barcelona, Spain.

Undefeated Conlan, 10(6) – 0, has waited patiently for his shot at a title over the past eighteen months and now his patience has been rewarded as he gets this vacant title shot just days after signing promotional terms with Belfast’s premier boxing promoters Cyclone Promotions. In Benjamin Smoes, 9(1) – 2, he faces another title debutant who is coming to Belfast intent on bringing the vacant WBO European strap back to Ecaussinnes, Belgium. The man known as ‘The Mexican’ will have to be on top of his game if he is to see off his Belgium challenger in front of a sold-out, 9000 capacity Odyssey Arena. Victory on April 4th will ensure Conlan of a World ranking with the WBO and boost his chances of challenging for domestic honours later in 2014.

Belfast’s Marc McCullough is coming off the biggest win of his fledgling professional career, a ninth round stoppage of Limerick’s former European champion, Willie ‘Big Bang’ Casey. The young McCullough, 9(5) – 1, now takes another step in his promising career as he faces former IBF Inter-Continental champion Andrei Isaeu. The Belarussian tough guy, 25(7) – 5, has been there and done it, having also challenged for the European strap as well as pushing England’s former World title challenger Rendall Munroe all the way in his comeback in 2011. Cyclone Promotions have big plans for McCullough and an impressive win on the 4th of April will ensure that Marc will be gain a World ranking with the WBO and put himself in line for some huge domestic dust-ups in the near future.

Dungiven’s former amateur star Eamonn O’Kane, 11(3) – 1, is back in title action on the undercard of ‘This Is Belfast’ when he takes on Mexico’s Alvaro Gaona, 13(8) – 3, for the vacant WBC International Silver Middleweight title. The Irish middleweight champion defeated Wales’ former European champion Kerry Hope in his last outing on a Frampton undercard in October and now has the chance to keep the momentum going and gain further World recognition with a win over WBC FECOMBOX Middleweight champion Gaona.

Dublin’s Stephen ‘The Rock’ Ormond makes the third defence of his WBO European Lightweight title against Spain’s experienced Karim ‘El Diablo’ El Ouazghari on the undercard of ‘This Is Belfast’. Ormond, 16(7) – 1, is coming off the biggest win of his career in his last bout, a convincing ten-round points decision over Liverpool’s Derry Matthews. In El Ouazghari, 16(4) – 4 – 2, he faces a man who has consistently been in with top opposition throughout his career, including the likes of former World title challenger John Murray, whom he pushed all the way for the European title in 2011. ‘El Diablo’ also gave another World title challenger, London’s Kevin Mitchell, a tough night before being controversially stopped in December. It looks certain to be a gruelling night’s work for the in-form Dubliner who is looking to improve on his impressive #8 ranking with the WBO.

‘This Is Belfast’ will also feature some of the UK and Ireland’s best boxing prospects, including Cyclone Promotions next great hope Conrad ‘Dynamite’ Cummings making his second professional appearance in a Middleweight six round contest. The former amateur star from Coalisland, Co. Tyrone made an impressive pro-debut in February at London’s famous York Hall and will be looking to continue his progression in what is home debut at a packed Odyssey Arena. Also on the huge ‘This is Belfast’ bill is bantamweight prospect and Ricky Hatton protégé Ryan Burnett who contests his fifth professional contest on his second consecutive Frampton undercard. All the big fight action on Friday the 4th of April will be shown live and exclusively in the UK and Ireland on BoxNation, Sky Channel 437 and Virgin Channel 546. To subscribe go to www.boxnation.com.


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