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I just called to say I’ll fight you – Blaney and McDonagh close in on Irish title fight

Chris Blaney [12(3)-2(0)-1] and JJ McDonagh [16(8)-5(2)] have gone from talking via what appeared to be ill tempered Irish-boxing.com interviews to conversing on the phone in a bid to make an Irish title fight.

The pair have verbally sparred via various interviews over the last year, but have progressed to direct contact and it seems to be working.

Talks have gone so well Blaney is now confident the pair will trade leather for a version of the Irish title before the year is out.

Speaking to Irish-Boxing.com after he returned to winning ways on the Leeside Revolution card, the Navan fighter revealed the pair have agreed to fight at a catch weight for the super middleweight domestic strap once owned by McDonagh.

The Ricky Hatton-trained fighter would prefer to fight for the middleweight crown but is happy to compromise to make a Meath versus Westmeath clash.

“I want the middleweight Irish title. I have been talking to JJ. The two of us on the phone trying to sort this out, but he can’t make middleweight,” Blaney revealed.

“That’s a shame but between us we agreed to fight at super middle at a catch-weight of 11st 9’lbs. I think if you can do that weight surely you can do 11st 6lbs for a day before weigh in, but look if he can’t he cant and that is the compromise. I would be happy to fight him at that weight for the super middleweight title.”

Chris Blaney

With neither promotionally aligned, finding a show for what would be an eagerly anticipated title fight would now appear to be the next step.

The ‘Ginja Ninja’ claims moves have already been made in that regard and is hopeful Boxing Ireland’s next installment of the Celtic Clash series will play host to the fight. It also has to be noted the fight will have to be put to and approved by the BUI.

“It looks ideal for Celtic Clash 9. There was talks of another show in Belfast but I’d prefer it in Dublin and we’ll bring the title back to Navan an hour later. We are going to up the talks now, ” he adds before pointing out he doesn’t need McDonagh to fulfill his Irish title fight dream.

“If we can’t get JJ I will look for middleweights that want the Irish title. I am sure there are loads that will be up for it.”

Blaney also reveals that, despite some bite-filled media back-and-forths in recent times, there is no bad blood between the duo.

The Meath fighter believes the pair’s confident attitude to the fight means they are likely to offend indirectly, but claims there is no underlying dislike.

“On my side there is no bad blood. I think because I believe I can beat him and he believes he can beat me that it comes out a bit that way when we talk to you.

“I don’t think there is that beef. Listen I have respect for him and he has respect for me. We will punch the head of each other for ten rounds and have a pint after. I believe I have the tools to beat him. From what I see in him I think I can beat him.”

The Manchester based fighter was speaking after he put behind two disappointing results behind him- a draw with Owen Joburn and defeat to Tom Stokes- with Leeside Revolution victory over Michal Gazdik.

Blaney was delighted with the expected return to winning ways, but wasn’t overly happy with his performance in it’s entirety.

“I wasn’t one bit nervous going in. I usually am and maybe that’s the difference. My last two fights were not great, but they were day weigh ins and I hate that, but still I wasn’t nervous,” he explains before breaking down the fight.

“I felt good in the first three rounds. I thought I had it won really. After the third I was thinking this is easy. The first three rounds went to plan and then I dropped him in the fourth. He has never been stopped so I went trigger happy thinking ‘great, I’ll be the first to do it’.”

“Being the first to stop him was on my mind then and to be honest it shouldn’t be. I kind of boxed myself out a bit. I had enough in the engine, but I don’t think I won the fifth and personally I don’t think I won the last one. I would have gave the fight to me but not those two rounds.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)


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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 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: editoririshboxing@gmail.com