Luton-born lightweight Michael Devine has told his rival Irish title hopefuls that they will “have to kill me to beat me to the belt.”
‘Chunky’ fights on the June 25th FS Promotions/Ricky Hatton bill at the National Stadium, and hopes to return to Ireland later this year to claim the prized green belt.
Devine [13(4)-5(2)-1] is of Wexford stock, and Irish fight fans may remember him from the Prizefighter lightweights final where he lost to Jono Carroll.
Ahead of the return of boxing to Dublin in two weeks time, irish-boxing.com caught up with the 27 year old who explained the reasoning behind his passion for the Irish belt as “my grandfather was Irish army champion and he was my hero growing up. My dad boxed too so it was in my blood to do it.”
“It really means to the world to me to be fighting here in Ireland. I know my grandparents will be looking down full of pride that I am over here fighting.”
“I have always had a dream to win an Irish title and lay it on my grandad’s grave in a nice little glass case.”
“I want to do that this year so I am looking to go for an Irish title and you would have to kill me to beat me.”
“Honestly it means that much to me. The Irish title is a World title in my eyes.”
With FS Promotions looking to become a fixture on the Irish boxing scene, Devine believes “I will be back here by the end of the year fighting for the Irish title.”
“They are talking about doing it in the December show and I am ready to go against anyone even the biggest names in Irish boxing.”
With regards to who will man the opposition corner for this title fight, Devine isn’t fussy, although there is one man from Finglas he would like to get even with.
Devine confidently stated that “I would fight Jono Carroll. I’d love that fight.”
“Obviously he beat me in Prizefighter and he was the better man on the night no doubt. I was injured in that final, but he won and was better on the night.”
However, with Carroll contracted to Eddie Hearn and Matchroom, a Carroll rematch seems unlikely. Nevertheless there is a bevvy of potential Irish title opponents out there, including three on the upcoming ‘The Future’ card.
And Devine is not phased by any of his Irish rivals, noting that “there is that Paul Hyland Jr there was talk of him, there is Ciaran Bates too.”
“I have looked at a few lads and I’d be happy to fight any of them.”
“Over the championship distance I know what I am about and any of them are good opponents for me.”
“I respect all fighters and I don’t like calling people out, but they are the names I have to get involved with if I want to fulfill my dream of becoming Irish champion.”
“Honestly I will fight until I am dead, and that goes double for when I am in an Irish title fight.”