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Irish Middleweights to fight in Mexico

Two Irish boxers will fight in the unfamiliar surroundings of Mexican border city Tijuana at the end of the month.

Assassin Boxing middleweight duo JJ McDonagh [14(7)-3(1)] and Vladimir Belujsky [1(1)-0-1] will travel across the Atlantic to fight on a card promoted by Gabriel Quinones on Thursday January 25th.

It’s a quick start for the pair who are both targeting titles this year following somewhat frustrating 2017s.

A succession of injuries as well as a lack of opportunities combined to ensure that Irish super middleweight champion McDonagh has not fought since shocking Sky prospect Jake Ball back in November 2016.

The Mullingar fighter described how “it’s killed me to be out of the ring so long. But I am now injury free, and I am moving down to middleweight and I will force my way into the frame and make sure these names can’t avoid me anymore.”

“I have been away before to Canada and lost. I know how tough it is going away from home, but I need the challenge.”

Bratislava-born Cork fighter Belujsky debuted with a draw back in March and following months out returned with a stunning stoppage of Manny Bique in November.

‘The Slovak Rebel’ recalled how “I felt great to be out in the ring again. I felt I did well, and I impressed with a KO, but there’s still a lot more to come.”

“This is a dream come through the chance to fight abroad, and especially in a place like Mexico, it’s magic. However it will be a very tough fight, I am going away, and I will get a hostile reception. I must be at 110% if I am to win.”

The two had been due to box in the Central Mexican city of Aguascalientes last January, however this fight date fell through.

A new signing for Assassin, Panamanian light heavyweight Israel Duffus [15(12)-4(3)], will also feature on the card,

Assassin Boxing boss Kaz Evans said that “this is a tough tasks for the guys. Not only am I putting them in for a tough test, I am taking them out of their comfort zone.”

“However, what this will do for their three careers will be brilliant. JJ can move on to challenge some big big names domestically, this will move Vlad along nicely as he progresses towards a title before the close of the year, and Israel will have had the perfect tune up fight to go ahead and challenge for major honours.”


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