A strong headline act on September 10, in the shape of Paul McCloskey-Breidis Prescott, is not enough for promoter Eddie Hearn who has vowed to pack the undercard tightly with solid matchups to give the expected 10,000 crowd ultimate value for money. Part of the package will include reigning Celtic super-bantamweight champion Carl Frampton, who will appear on the bill no matter who the opponent turns out to be, although many are hoping that all parties can put pen to paper and make it a European title scrap with Kiko Martinez.
“Carl will definitely fight on the show regardless of who the opponent is and I don’t see the Martinez fight falling through to be honest,” reassured Hearn. “Carl wants the fight and Barry McGuigan wants it. They understand that it’s a chief support and not a main event so the money won’t be as high but that’s fine and Brian Peters and Kiko Martinez both want this fight to take place. It’s a great opportunity for Frampton, without ties or options and a chance to go out and show what he’s all about. A lot of people think that it’s coming too early for him but Barry really fancies it.”
Eddie’s right when he proclaims that the bout is worthy of being a headliner on its own but insists that it is this type of bold matchmaking that defines not only the Odyssey extravaganza but Matchroom shows in general. Kiko Martinez is an extremely live champion who reaffirmed his punching credentials with a stoppage win over quality operator Jason Booth recently. Given the world title achievements of Bernard Dunne it is now easy to forget how devastatingly clinical Kiko was when he arrived on Irish soil in 2007 to brutally dismantle the Dubliner inside a single round. Rendall Munroe showed that ‘La Sensacion’ can be outboxed, but Carl Frampton will have to stay fully focused if he is to outlast the Spanish slugger.
Some other tasty domestic names are being mooted for undercard slots. Although free agent Martin Lindsay will not appear -as he is getting married close to the date- popular heavyweight Martin Rogan fancies a return to the Belfast ring and another quality big man Mike Perez could also find his way on to the show. In fact, who wouldn’t mind seeing the two former Prizefighter winners thrown in with each other.
“We want to bring big fights to the bill and give the passionate supporters their Irish fighters in meaningful fights,” added Eddie Hearn. “Martin Rogan wants to be on the bill and I told him I want him on but in a proper fight, no six-rounders with a South African or a Polish guy who will drop. I want him to fight Albert Sosnowski who took on Vitali Klitschko in his last fight. I never get complacent about ticket sales; we want to get people in and give them a great night with value for money. Eamon O’Kane will be on the bill, Mike Perez is another possibility and there will be others. All with prices starting from £30; you can’t beat that, it always works well at the darts. The atmosphere will be electric with 10,000 people packed in on the night.”