Mick Conlan isn’t the only Irishman who will grace The Theater at Madison Square Garden on Friday.
While it was initially thought that the Top Rank card would be packed with Irish talent, this is no longer the case. With many of Conlan’s MTK managerial stablemates having their most recent fight dates postponed from February 18th to March 10th, the dates no longer lined up.
Thankfully however there is one other Irishman who will fight at the famous basement venue – Monaghan welterweight Larry Fryers [2(1)-0].
Based in Upstate New York, the Clones boxer has previously told us about his roundabout route into pro boxing. On Friday this story will see the addition of another chapter, with Lethal Larry opening the show in Manhattan.
It’s a dream date for the novice pro, whose two previous fights were small-hall affairs. Indeed, the enormity of the occasion has Fryer near-speechless. When asked by Irish-Boxing.com if he had believed, when he turned pro, that he would end up at the most iconic venue in all of boxing, a delighted Fryers replied “absolutely not!”
“Madison Square Garden, like, even now, I still can’t believe it. I mean, growing up, that’s what I always dreamed of. Now that it’s happening, I still think I’m dreaming to be honest. It’s unreal, I don’t think it will really sink in until the night of the fight.”
Around 2,000 people are making the trip to New York from Ireland (and we hope Irish boxing fans make their way to The Theater early to give Fryers their support), while large numbers are also making the trip down from the East Durham area, the adopted home of Fryers.
It will be an occasion like no other for Fryers but, like headliner Conlan, he does not feel any pressure going into the bout. The 26 year notes how, “to be honest, I can’t wait to fight in front of such a crowd. I mean, the atmosphere will be amazing. There will be no pressure at all, just pure excitement and adrenaline.”
While Fryers does not know Conlan personally, he is honoured to be part of the occasion. The former Irish underage champion described how ‘we never really crossed paths but what he has done so far in his career has been amazing and it’s a privilege to be boxing on the undercard of his pro debut.”
His opponent on Friday will be Gabriel Solario [2(0)-3(2)-1], but Fryers is completely in the dark about his Seattle foe ahead of the scheduled four rounder.
Fryers explained that “again I have no clue what sort of a fighter he is or what to expect from him – but that’s how I like it.”
The Ulsterman is an entertaining fighter, and those in attendance on Friday can expect Fryers to “go out there and give him hell from start to finish whenever that finish may be. I have a come forward style and I love to brawl.”
Jamie Conlan joins Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill for Episode 3 of The Irish Boxing Show:
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)