New but Familiar – Mark Dunlop excited by Ulster Hall Return

Mark Dunlop believes MHD Promotions’s February 9th card will live up to its billing – quite literally.

The Belfast manager and promoter brings boxing back to the Ulster Hall as is predicting the fight night will be, as advertised, ‘A Night to Remember’.

The card will be topped by recent super featherweight world title challenger James Tennyson as he looks to bounce back from his defeat to Jono Carroll target Tevin Farmer with a win over the unbeaten Garry Neale of Portsmouth.

‘The Assassin’ steps, temporarily, up to lightweight for the fight and there is a definte 135lbs theme to the night – even after the cancellation of the West Belfast derby between Joe Fitzpatrick and Stephen Webb.

The Irish lightweight title will be contested for the first time in almost eight years when Coalisland’s Feargal McCrory boxes Monkstown slugger Karl Kelly , while recent British title challenger Paul Hyland Jr takes on Slovak champ Miroslav Serban.

In another lightweight brawl, Mathew Fitzsimons takes on the ever game Alec Bazza, while there are also slots for Cathy McAleer and Luke Wilton as well as Tommy McCarthy who continues something of rebuild at the famous venue.

MHD boss Dunlop is excited, especially in light of the historic venue, and said that “I am delighted to be bringing professional boxing back to the Ulster Hall, it’s been a long time since we were last here.”

“It’s something that will be an exciting new experience for many but also jog a few memories of their fans that have been privileged to witness some great nights at the venue where all the Irish greats have graced the ring,” said the Belfast fight boss who was also involved in the last bill at the famous hall.

“Feargal McCrory will hoping to add the vacant Boxing Union of Ireland Irish lightweight title to his trophy cabinet when he squares up against Dublin’s Karl Kelly,” Dunlop added before going through the undercard.

“Female professional boxing will also return to the Ulster Hall for the first time in 20 years when Cathy McAleer takes on the strong Sonia Klos of Poland.”

“And big cruiserweight Tommy McCarthy knows there is big title opportunities lying ahead so will not allow error as he looks to keep active over eight three minute rounds against an opponent yet to be named.”

“East Belfast super flyweight Luke Wilton will have his second comeback fight following a credible points defeat to the hands of WBC Champion Charlie Edwards.

“Mathew Fitzsimons will also feature in a local Belfast derby when he looks to get back to winning ways against East Belfast’s game Alec Bazza.”


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Jonny Stapleton 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: