How does Cully versus Fitzpatrick compare to the Irish title fights of the last five years?

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Joe Fitzpatrick versus Gary Cully is the most eagerly anticipated fight on a weekend that see’s 25 bouts involving Irish fighters play out.

In fact it’s the most eagerly Irish title fight in a time frame that goes well beyond just this weekend.

The first Irish title fight of the new decade is populated by two rivals who didn’t need to take a domestic risk.

It’s two unbeaten prospects with strong amateur previous putting it all on the line for Irish glory.

Two noted skills advocates who the fans can’t seperate when it comes to picking a winner.

It’s just the kind of fight Irish boxing needs, but unfortunately not the type of fight that comes around often enough.

Nigh on shamefully it’s the first Irish lightweight title fight since Andy Murray defeated Oisin Fagan on an RTE broadcast Civil War card back in February 2010.

Although it’s the 11th Irish title fight in the last 5 years – not a brilliant stat but an improvement.

We’ve taken a look at the recent bouts in a bid to see how the compare to tonight’s match up.

Peter McDonagh versus Dean Byrne November 07 2015

An intriguing match up. Byrne returned home to fight in Ireland for just the third time in his career. It seemed a great chance for the Dubliner to claim a coveted greens strap and one he was confident of taking.

However, Peter McDonagh had other ideas and managed to become a three weight Irish champion with a points win at the National Stadium.

JJ McDonagh Vs Darren Cruise Spetember 4 2016

One that played out abroad and as such unfortunately went somewhat under the radar.

Having had to move up in weight to pursue his Irish title dream and having lost to JJ McDonagh in the All Irish Prizefighter, Cruise went into the match up as an underdog.

The Castlerea man showed his metal, dealt with the size difference and put in a brilliant performance.

However, the Westhmeath’s ‘Slick’ did enough to win and became a two time Irish champion thanks to a single round win.

Pauly Upton versus Terry Maughan April 23 2016

Another under the radar domestic dust up as the London and Nottingham fighters challenged for the Irish title in Northampton.

The oldest of the boxing Upton managed to win this one following Dee Walsh’s lead and stopping Maughan for the Irish light middleweight title.

James Tennyson vs Declan Geraghty March 3 2017

A fight with top of the bill potential now, this is an Irish title fight that never got the recognition it deserved.

It was the ultimate panache versus power match up between two fighters with high enough profiles both at home and abroad.

It lived up the billing it deserved but didn’t really get as ‘Pretty Boy’ Geraghty showed flashes of brilliance, but was ultimately undone by the sensational punching power of ‘The Assassin’ Tennyson.

‘Tenny’ would go on to win the European title and challenge for a world title, whilst his moments in the fight are still used as proof that the Dublin side of the bout has what it takes to return to a higher level.

Luke Watkins versus Ian Tims June 2017

Another intriguing one on paper. Old stalwart Ian Tims versus new to the scene Luke Watkins at the Odyssey Arena.

Warrior Tims started impressively live on Sky Sports, but was eventually finished by an Irish Knockout of the Year contender.

The Swindon born fighter of Wexford heritage sent the Dub crashing to the canvas with a straight right hand to become the first black Irish champion.

Paddy McDonagh versus Steve Collins June 24 2017

McDonagh came in as a massive 10/1 underdog against the more active and ever improving Steve Collins Jr.

However, the Westmeath man managed to hurt the bookies as well as the Dubliner with a boxing masterclass.

McDonagh joined his brother JJ as an Irish champion with a pure boxing display.

Luke Keeler versus Darren Cruise June 24 2017

He didn’t quite upset the odds, but Darren Cruise did stick two fingers up to them on the same night.

The Rosscomon man took on Luke Keeler, who was in world title action as recent as Thursday, at the National Stadium, and pushed the Ballyfermot man.

Indeed Cruise’s came within a round of winning an Irish title for the second time.

Craig O’Brien versus Jay Byrne March 3 2018

Craig O’Brien took on the ultimate risk taker Jay Byrne for the Irish title on the top of the TG4 broadcast Last Man Standing card two years ago.

The fight didn’t quite catch fire in the way some predicted as O’Brien’s skill set allowed him to deal with the constant pressure from the ‘Negotiator’ to claim a wide points win.

Carl McDonald Vs Dylan McDonagh 24 November 2019

It will never get more local than this as neighbours McDonald and McDonagh went at it for the Irish bantamweight title.

The Jobstown duo’s clash didn’t pick up much traction in wider circles, but was eagerly anticipated by the hardcore fan and the whole of Jobstown.

The bout delivered and entertained for 10 rounds. McDonald coming out the eventual winner after producing a career best performance much to the delight of his passionate following.

Feargal McCrory versus Karl Kelly February 2 2019

Another one that played out in front of a loud and boisterous support, this time in the Ulster Hall.

It was one that came from left field as McCrory moved up in weight and Kelly secured the tilt despite calls from others who argued they were more qualified.

Dublin’s Kelly as ever showed massive heart against a not to be denied McCrory before eventually being compassionately pulled out by his corner.

Eric Donovan versus Stephen McAfee March 2019

Another Irish title fight to top a successful and well consumed TV card.

Kildare versus Dublin as Donovan and McAfee went at it. Wide press interest and TV made it one of the more higher profile clashes.

‘Lillywhite Lightening’ performed against the fight anyone anywhere anytime merchant to win via stoppage under the spotlight.

It’s Cully and Fitzpatrick’s turn tonight and if predictions are correct it could be a fight that will be remembered for quite sometime. YOU CAN WATCH IT HERE.


Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: