26 November 2009 – By Mark Doyle
Anthony Fitzgerald believes that he will take Lee Murtagh out inside three rounds when they meet for the vacant Irish super-middleweight title at the National Stadium in Dublin on Saturday week.
Fitzgerald is now 5-2 after a run of four successive victories, including a points win over Robbie Long in their eagerly-awaited rematch at the National Stadium last month.
However, he believes that Murtagh, 26-11-1, is taking him lightly and is promising to make the veteran southpaw pay for doing so.
“I think hell look at my record and underestimate me and my power. Im not going to go looking for the knockout; Ill be nice and patient but I genuinely believe Ill get him out of there early. Ill be surprised if Murtaghs still there to hear the bell for the fourth round,” the Dubliner declared.
Fitzgerald was at ringside for Murtaghs most recent outing, a points win over Germanys Marcen Gierke in Limerick earlier this month, and he left convinced that he had nothing to fear from the 36-year-old Leeds native.
“I wasnt very impressed with him but to be fair it might have been an off night,” Fitzgerald mused.
“When you look at his record he has a hell of a lot of experience in comparison to me. Hes been a pro now for almost 15 years while I only turned professional just over a year ago. Hes had 39 fights compared to my 7 and he knows how to do the Championship distance: hes had 11 ten-round fights and one 12-rounder so you have to respect that kind of experience.”
However, Fitzgerald is supremely confident of victory and is already talking excitedly about a third meeting with Long.
“Im sure that Robbie will be the first in the queue to challenge me when I win the Irish title. He deserves his chance, weve already had two great fights and were one a piece. Hes tough as nails so I have a lot of respect for him,” he enthused.
“I was a lot more seasoned as a professional coming into the rematch and it showed. I used my boxing ability second time around but the first time I was still basically fighting like an amateur and I put everything into the first three rounds and had nothing left after that.
“It was a great learning experience though and I showed I had learned from it in the second fight but Id have no problem getting it on again with Robbie next year with the Irish title on the line.”
The Sierra Fight Night also features a second Irish title fight with Dublins Paul Hyland making the first defence of his Irish Super Bantamweight title against Eugene Heagney. Unbeaten Cork based Cuban sensation Luis Garcia will also be in action alongside undefeated Dundalk Lightweight Michael Kelly, Omaghs Damian Taggart and new Belfast pro Jamie Conlan.
Tickets for the Sierra Fight Night priced from 40 are available from Ticketmaster (phone 0818 719 300 or visit ticketmaster.ie) and all usual outlets.