The first set of opponents have been announced for the gargantuan ‘Celtic Clash 2: The Rising’ bill later this month.
The seventeen-fight card, the largest in Irish boxing history, will take place at the National Stadium in Dublin on May 27th.
With the card two weeks away from today, details of the fighters in the away corner have started to emerge, with four confirmed names to start us off.
Bray’s Regan Buckley is one of six (another Irish record) to make his debut on the bill. ‘Rocket’ will take on Bulgarian super bantam Trayan Slavev [2(2)-13(9)-1] over four rounds.
While Slavev’s record may not be the greatest, he should provide durable enough opposition for the smaller Buckley, who is campaigning at bantamweight initially for ease of matchmaking.
Making his Dublin debut, Jobstown’s Carl McDonald will face another Bulgarian super bantam in Stefan Sashov [2(2)-11(4)] again over four rounds.
Sashov is a recent enough addition to the UK circuit and has hit the deck in four of his five contests in England, suggesting that McDonald may have greater opportunities for attack than in his pro debut last October which came against crafty Polish survivor Kamil Jaworek.
Returning from a severe bicep injury, Tallaght light welter Sean Creagh [4(2)-1(1)] eases his way back in with a four rounder against Bulgarian welter Teodor Nikolov [4(1)-22(3)-2].
The durable Eastern European has plenty of Irish previous, having fought here against Michael McKinson, Tyrone McKenna, and Gerard Whitehouse, bringing all three the distance.
Creaghzy Horse can’t afford any slip-ups or cuts though, as a potential meeting with Belfast’s Matt Wilton next month has been mooted.
Another debutant, Sallynoggin light welterweight Stephen McAfee will kick off against experienced Polish fighter Marcin Ficner [2(0)-16(6)-4].
Recently the 37 year old Pole went the full six with Mohamed El Marcouchi, and the Moroccan would go on to claim the African light welterweight title last month.
More opponent confirmations will be revealed in the coming days, while there are big announcements due on Monday at the media workout.
Also featuring in two weeks time are Eric Donovan, Stephen Carroll, Jay Byrne, Gerard Whitehouse, Rohan Date, Allan Phelan, Vladimir Belujsky, Lynn Harvey, as well as debutants John Joyce, Liam Gaynor, Johnny Corcoran, and Keane McMahon.
Tickets for Celtic Clash 2 are priced at €15 (Under 15s), €30, €40, €45, and €55 (Premium), and are available from the boxers involved.
Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey speak to Jason Quigley on Episode 5 of The Irish Boxing Show: