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Irish Ghost Fitzpatrick ready to take chance against rising star

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On Friday night in California Chris Fitzpatrick [15(6)-4(2)] is looking to cause a massive shock against hot US prospect Rob Brant.

The 20(13)-0 middleweight contender is fancied by many to win World titles in the future, and he has even recently called out WBO champ Billy Joe Saunders, however Fitzpatrick is not bothered by being the underdog.

‘The Irish Ghost’ spoke to Irish-Boxing.com ahead of his clash at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula which will be shown live on CBS Sports.

While he would have formerly described himself as a box-puncher, the 29 year old admits that “a lot has changed over the years. I’ve been working very hard to adjust to whatever works for me at the time of the fight.”

Fitzpatrick is not exaggerating when he says a lot has changed for him in recent years, and the fact that he continues to box is highly commendable.

Supported by wife Cynthia, he only recently returned to the ring after a hiatus of over three years due to family reasons, and he explains that “the layoff was necessary after our son was diagnosed with Autism.”

“Due to the severity of his case, we were unable to maintain that type of inconsistency in his life. Constant back and forth from home to training camp became extremely stressful for our little boy. I felt the need to put boxing aside for the time being, until we were ALL ready to make this happen.”

“We knew that the only way would be to train from home and that we were on our own. We finally were able to make adjustments to our schedule and start training ourselves.”

He describes his tailored training for Friday as having been “both successful and challenging. But then again that was to be expected. No complaints from our end though.”

Fitzpatrick, who went five rounds with Danny Jacobs in 2012, will need to box the fight of his life to cause an upset against the heavily-fancied Brant. However, being the underdog isn’t his main motivation and he explains that “being brought in as an opponent motivates me to a certain extent, but I’ve much more than proving people wrong to motivate me.”

“I have a great support system that believes in me and I’m more motivated to prove them right, than proving the doubters wrong.”

Quietly confident ahead of the televised ten-rounder, Fitzpatrick says that “I believe in my talent and I’ve been waiting a long time for this opportunity.

“Now here we are planning on making the best out of this opportunity that has presented itself.”

“Being on TV, well that’s just a bonus, because it gives my supporters a chance to watch me rise to the occasion.”

Momentarily looking past his upcoming fight, Fitzpatrick is hoping for plenty of more time in the ring, and notes how “I’m leaving myself open to all opportunities that head my way. I plan on staying ready for any and every fight that presents itself.”

“I’m in this for as long as my body allows and I’m looking forward to what will hopefully be a long and successful career in boxing.”

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie