June 20 Jonny Stapleton
Ciaran Healy admits Brendan Fitzpatrick has taken a big risk in facing the experienced Belfast fighter so early in his career, but says he isn’t surprised as the current climate forces boxers to take chances sooner.
Healy stressed only time will tell if the Dubliner has bitten off more than he can chew, but is confident of continuing his impress career hiatus on the under card of Patrick Hyland’s WBF world title tilt.
The 36 year old two weight Irish champ represents a big step up for Jim Rock’s charge. The current domestic light heavyweight ring king has challenged for Irish titles on five occasions and has shared a ring with the likes of Andy Lee, Jamie Moore, Jason Mckay, Paul Smith and James Degale.
The John Breen trained Fitzpatrick believes the risk of fighting such an experienced pro is worth the reward of having a win over Healy on what will become a four fight record come Saturday.
And the Belfast man believes more and more Irish fighters will take on bigger challenges in a bid to get up the rankings.
“I am not surprised at all that he is fighting me after just three fight. That’s the boxing game now, you take what fights come your way and you have to take chances. Fitzpatrick is a good boxer. I have seen him fight a few times and respect him, but we will see come the fight if he has taken a step up too soon,” Healy told www.irish-boxing.com.
Healy has turned his career around of late. At 36 he might not travelling too far but he has ensured he has ditched his ‘journeyman’ tag with impressive wins over John Waldron and a reverse over previously unbeaten English fighter Harry Matthews.
The experienced pro does come into this fight on the back of an away loss to Frank Haroche Horta, but is confident his hand will be raised after what is another mouth-watering all Irish fight on very impressive National Stadium fight menu.
Healy revealed he is working harder now than at anytime in his career and is attributing his renaissance to the guiding hand of Gerard McCafferty.
“Training has been going good. I have had plenty of sparring with Tommy Tolan. I have also worked on strength and conditioning in the John Bosco gym in Belfast. Training harder and putting more effort in than before. That is thanks to my trainer Gerard McCafferty in John Bosco gym. He has helped me through some tough times.
“I feel confident ahead of this fight. If I wasn’t I wouldn’t be fighting. The plan is win this weekend and to remain unbeaten this year. After that I would consider another Irish Title in a different weight class.”