Mathew Fitzsimons calls for Allan Phelan title clash following comeback win


Mathew Fitzsimons [4(2)-1(1)] wants a March title fight with Allan Phelan.

‘Thunder’ returned to winning ways on the ‘A Night To Remember Card’ at the Ulster Hall on Saturday night and wasn’t long about namedropping the Kildare fighter.

The ambitious Assassin fighter, whose alternate ‘Freak’ ring moniker derives from the fact he can make super featherweight despite being 6’2″, has no personal issue with stablemate Phelan [9(6)-3(1)-1] but believes it’s a fight than can be made and offers passage to the BUI Celtic title.

“I am looking to try and get Allan Phelan for March for a BUI Celtic title at 9st 4lbs [super featherweight]. He is a good fighter, very slick, smart and can bang a bit, but I think I can beat him,” Fitzsimons said on Saturday following his win in Belfast.

Sallynoggin’s Stephen McAfee currently holds the title but the Irish title mandatory is expected to move up in level soon which would facilitate such a clash.

Fitzsimons, now trained by heavyweight character and former Commonwealth champ Martin Rogan, wants to keep busy and get his chance.

“I want one more fight before then. I am fit enough for four rounds, but I’d like another six rounder and then go for the Celtic title. I’d be happy with that.”

While Fitzsimons was looking forward after a comfortable win over Jamie Quinn on Saturday, the fight itself was about burying the past to some degree.

The West Belfast man came into the four rounder off the back of a shock stoppage defeat suffered back in July.

For Fitzsimons, Saturday was just about putting that experience behind him so he can look forward to a big 2019.

“That’s the important thing to get a win, get back in action, get myself out there and now try and stay busy. I mentioned action – I have only fought once a year so I want to get active now,” added the 22-year-old before admitting he had pre-fight nerves.

“I was nervous the last couple of weeks now. I think that is why I was a wee bit tired. There was a lot of pressure this time to win,” he stressed, recalling his final-round stoppage defeat to Taka Bembere last August.

“The last time I won the first three rounds and there was four seconds to go in the fourth and he clipped me with an overhand right. I wasn’t out I was just down and the referee waved it off. I would have liked the eight count. The fight would have been over, I wouldn’t have taken anymore punishment.”

“I don’t even know if he’s still boxing but, if he is, of course [I want the rematch]. I don’t want it that bad, I’m not losing sleep over it, but I want to put it straight.”

Fitzsimons also revealed his 39-37 win over Quinn, a fighter who beat Phelan, was achieved in first gear.

“I am happy enough with that performance. I was in first gear all the time. You never seen me trying anything. I done enough I just wanted to do enough to win the fight and I didn’t take any big shots, so I am happy enough.”

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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com