Fitzgerald closes in on world title shot

June 9 Jonny Stapleton

Anthony Fitzgerald is closing in on a September IBO world title tilt with recent and temporary sparring partner Avtandil Khurtsidze.

‘The Pride’, like former promoters Dolphil, is suffering a disappointing lull in his career, but despite being forced to pursue a new promoter Fitzgerald is still chasing down big fights.

And having seen a potential clash with fellow Irish middleweight Andy Lee fall through the Irish super middleweight champ is on course to secure the biggest fight of his career.

The WBA top 15 ranked fighter claims Phil Sutcliffe is planning a Dublin September show and is in talks with Khurtsidza re defending the world strap against the Dubliner, who travelled to the Ukraine to help him prepare for his most recent defence last month.

“Phil is planning a show in September. There is no date finalised yet, but we are looking at fighting Khurtsidze for the IBO world title. Phil is talking with his team. Hopefully that comes off. If not then I will defend my EBA title. European and world level is where I want to be going,” Fitzgerald told,.

Despite having his recent sparring mission with the champ cancelled early, due to a cut, Fitzgerald is confident he has devised a plan to beat the tough 32 year old Georgian.

“Fitzy” also rubbished reports he was made redundant as the Ukraine based fighter’s sparring partner because of a gulf of class between the pair.

“There was no such thing as me being outclassed and dropped. I got a cut in the eye after a couple of rounds with him and in those rounds I was comfortable and taking him apart. I wasn’t even fully fit then. I can guarantee I will stop him if we fight. He is highly rated but I don’t believe he should be holding a world title and I would be happy to take it off him.”

The Crumlin based pro, who has turned his career around since being stopped by a journey man on the under card of Bernard Dunne’s memorable clash with Cordoba, might be looking forward, but some fans and one fighter wants him to revisit his past.

Ireland’s renaissance man Ciaran Healy is desperate for a rematch with Fitzgerald, having lost to him in an Irish middleweight title fight last year.

However, Fitzgerald claims Healy isn’t on his fight radar.

The Dubliner is eager to move to the next level and doesn’t think the Belfast 35 year old has done enough to earn a shot at redemption.

“All credit to Healey he has two knock outs of late, but that doesn’t mean he deserves a rematch. I am not looking to step back I want to step forward. As I said to him if there was a European title or a world title on the line I would fight him.”

Despite all but claiming he is beyond domestic level the only fighter to stop renowned tough man Affif Belghecham would be open to a domestic dust up with the Frank Warren promoted Spike O’Sullvian.

Fitzgerald claims the Cork based fighter’s reputation and the fact they both have w’s beside names of Healy and Robbie Long on their record makes it a viable bout.

“I was impressed with Spike‘s last win over Robbie Long. As everyone knows I did over 20 rounds with Robbie. I know how tough Robbie is so I was impressed with Spike stopping him. If Spike wants to fight I will fight him,” he added before explaining why he would take a fight with O’Sullivan but not Healy.

“The difference between Spike and Healy is Spike is unbeaten. He is also more rated than Healy. I beat Healey and Robbie Long and so did he. So why don’t we get in the ring and see who is the best. There is no needle. We used to spar. Two of us are looking for bigger fights. I would put my EBA and WBF titles on the lines.”

Anthony Fitzgerald and Steve Dawson run a Boxercise class in Camden Hall, Grathin Lane Camden Street. All welcome for more details contact Anthony Fitzgerald.


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