The first undercard fight for the MGM-promoted night of boxing in the National Stadium has been announced – and it is a doozy. MGM’s Peter McDonagh and former Wild Card star Dean Byrne will go toe-to-toe for the Irish welterweight title on the Jamie Conlan-topped bill.
Something of a grudge match, the hype around the pair has grown in recent months, culminating in the Boxing Union of Ireland approving the fight on Wednesday.
Galwegian McDonagh [24(3)-28(2)-1] has been nicknamed ‘The Cinderella Man’ in recent years after elevating himself from journeyman status with a two year, eight fight, unbeaten run. On November 7th, the 37 year old will be going for his third Irish title, having won lightweight and light welterweight honours in 2006 and 2014 respectively.
Byrne [17(6)-5(2)-2] has had a storied career. ‘Irish Lightning’ started out in Australia, quickly winning the Australian light welterweight title before moving to America and Freddie Roach’s Wildcard Gym, where he was a regular sparring partner of Manny Pacquiao. Now back on these shores, and back in the ring, the 31 year old Dubliner is targeting his first Irish title.
The ten round fight, which will be shown exclusively live on Boxnation, is still six weeks away, however the trash talk has already began with Byrne labeling McDonagh a “plastic paddy” and promising to “leave the old pals act outside the wing on November 7th and aim to turn the Cinderella Man into Snow White by putting McDonagh to sleep!” In response, and keeping up with the theme, McDonagh declared that “Dean needs to stop watching fairytales, because on 7th November he will be in a nightmare. Pain is temporary, pride is forever.”