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March 5th British title shot for O’Kane?

Paddy Fitzpatrick is trying to secure a British title shot for Derry’s Eamonn O’Kane.

‘King Kane’ is coming off the back of a pure guts but no glory Madison Square Garden-hosted World title eliminator defeat against Tureano Johnson. Despite the reverse, the brave performance certainly raised the former Irish champions profile worldwide.

However, Swindon based Irish trainer Fitzpatrick is targeting a return to domestic level for his charge and is angling for a shot at Nick Blackwell, who has recently spent time sparring Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan.

Fitzpatrick, who also trains Irish title hopefuls Luke Watkins and Garvey Kelly, claims he has contacted Blackwell’s promoter Mick Hennessy regarding a potentail clash on March 5.

The British Boxing Board of Control have made O’Sullivan’s December 12th opponent, Chris Eubank Jr, mandatory for Bang Bang’s belt, but Fitzpatrick rightly predicts that that clash would hold little interest for the World title targeting Brighton man.

Speaking to the Swindon Advertiser Fitzpatrick said

“I think Santa Claus will show up in the gym before Eubank will take that fight,” the Clare-born trainer said, continuing “He didn’t take it twice before. Since then, he has fought (Billy Joe) Saunders and now he is fighting for mandatory position in the WBA.”

“Nick needs another defence to keep that belt. There is no reason why Eamonn cannot be cleared for that. He is two below Nick in the British rankings. You have Nick, John Ryder and then Eamonn.

“Nick has beaten John Ryder, the next one down is Eamonn – it makes sense for both men. It is fight that Nick Blackwell tweeted ‘great fight’ – he likes the idea of it too.”

Regardless of the opponent O’Kane will return to ring action in Swindon on March 5 and does so as an IBF World top 10 fighter- and Fitzpatrick hopes that ranking tempts Blackwell into the ring in the Spring.

“Nick has the opportunity to keep his Lonsdale belt and also to take Eamonn’s top-10 world ranking,” Fitzpatrick added.

“It is a fight that makes sense. We have got a date, we have a number eight ranking in the world and we have an inter-continental title fight. Eamonn is up for it, Nick is up for it; I have put in a call to Mick Hennessy and there is no reason why he won’t be up for it.

“If he has something better planned – not a problem.”


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years