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Undercard Opponents confirmed for Mick Conlan Homecoming show

The Mick Conlan Homecoming bill in Belfast this Saturday night features a special undercard.

There are a number of big bouts in store – a Jono Carroll v Declan Geraghty rematch, Tyrone McKenna’s chance to upset Jack Catterall, and a Celtic title fight for yrone McCullagh v Joe Ham – but the undercard will start hours before the TV cameras even begin rolling.

Up until now, all the prospects in four and six-round bouts had been listed beside the familiar TBA but the opponents have today been confirmed and there looks to be some durable tests ahead.

Following his remarkable knockout of Manny Bique in February, St James’ super middle Padraig McCrory [3(2)-0] will face the ultra-durable Harry Matthews [15(2)-28(3)-2]. The York journeyman has only ever been stopped by Jamie Cox and Morgan Jones – along with a injury retirement, and regularly tests rising opponents.

Indeed, throughout his career, which also includes an upset win over Ben Davies last October, Matthews has only lost every round on the cards thrice. These lossses came against former British middleweight champion Tommy Langford, former Commonwealth super middleweight champion David Brophy, and Roscommon’s Darren Cruise.

As Sandy Row welterweight Lewis Crocker [5(5)-0] continues his quest for rounds, a durable and large opponent has been brought in. ‘The Croc’ will sink his teeth into Polish light middleweight Adam Grabiec [5(1)-21(4)] who went four rounds with Britsh middleweight title mandatory Mark Heffron in his last contest.

The Eastern European’s other stoppages have all come in the sixth round, to middleweights Ben Davies and Mark Thompson, and to former Paddy Gallagher foe Tamuka Mucha. A game fighter, Grabiec has lost a number of narrow decisions and usually takes a round or two from prospects – bar Dee Walsh who outclassed him at the Devenish in October 2014.

Coalisland super middleweight Taylor McGoldrick [1(0)-0] finally returns to the ring following his short-notice debut in December and is another that looks to have a decent test. The Tyrone man faces Hungarian Richard Hegyi [5(4)-4(0)] who follows the model Magyar model of building his record at home and losing away.

Encouragingly, the youngster has never been stopped and just last month gave 9-0 German Rodi Kasem a scare, eventually losing 59-58, and looks to be a good second fight for McGoldrick.

No opponent has been announced for Turf Lodge lightweight Sean McComb who is set to make his professional debut on the bill.

London-Irish welter Gary Corcoran [17(7)-2(2)] was due to face Lenadoon’s Paddy Gallagher on the bill before the Belfast boxer was forced to withdraw after suffering a broken jaw. ‘Hellraiser’ Corcoran now faces Ghanaian light welter Victor Anrah [8(8)-2(0)] in what looks to be a disappoining match-up.

English flyweight Sunny Edwards [7(3)-0] is set for a good scrap. The man who has been calling Paddy Barnes out relentlessly has been matched with tough Nicaraguan Cristian Narvaez [15(1)-7(1)] over six rounds.

Finally there is Cuban featherweight prospect Neslan Machado [12(8)-0] who makes his European debut against familiar, and negative, journeyman Jose Aguilar [16(6)-48(9)-4].

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie