In Contention

14 April 2009 – By Cormac Campbell

Irish welterweight champion Stephen Haughian continued his march towards a major title shot after a first round victory over the outgunned Drew Campbell in London on Saturday.

The bout, which featured on the undercard of John ODonnells successful Commonwealth title challenge against Craig Watson, saw Haughian extend his ledger to 18-1. A bout with ODonnell would appear an attractive and realistic option for all concerned and it is understood that both ODonnells promoter Mick Hennessey and Haughians representative Brian Peters are keen to do a deal.

My focus is on the Commonwealth title, Haughian told irish-boxing.com over the phone on Easter Monday.

There was talk about a fight with ODonnell before Saturday if we were both successful it was in the programme on Saturday that the fight was a possibility. Hopefully it can take place over here. His roots are in Galway so maybe the Breaffy House in Castlebar The Kings Hall could also be a possibility.

A Kings Hall bill featuring British light-welterweight champion Paul McCloskeys projected vacant EBU title tilt against former WBC champion Junior Witter appears to be in the pipeline and ODonnell v Haughian would make for an eye-catching chief support.

Sharing a bill with stablemate McCloskey is something Haughian is keen on for obvious reasons.

All the better if the fight is on a McCloskey bill as the sparring would be excellent if we are both looking to peak at the same time. I have no injuries so I can go straight back in to the gym. The fitness is here so it is a case of staying sharp until the next fight is announced.

What Haughian can be assured of is an army of fans from his hometown of Lurgan coming to support him. This is as a result his successful Irish title challenge against Corkman Billy Walsh in nearby Craigavon in February. One thousand people turned up that night to support the local boy on the biggest night of his career and following a third round stoppage victory they were undoubtedly impressed with what they saw.

I gained a lot of support from that fight a lot of people who had no interest in boxing became interested because a local boy won the Irish title.

Rather than rest on his laurels, Haughian is keen to continue stepping up in class and believes is good enough to mix it with the best on the domestic scene.

I think I am in Kell Brook, Craig Watson and ODonnells class. I cant spot anything to worry me.

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