New Year Fight News for Irish Boxers


TJ Doheny [20(4)-0] will get Irish pro boxing underway in 2019 this Friday night.

The Portlaoise super bantam defends his IBF title for the first time at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York and ‘The Power’ is just the first of many Irish boxers that will be in action over the coming weeks and months.

There has been plenty of fight news over the last few days and Irish-Boxing.com have collated it all below.

Starting us off on this side of the Atlantic is Belfast welter Tony Nellins [4(0)-0-1].

The Eastside fighter will box in a four-rounder on a Prospect Boxing card at the DoubleTree Hilton in Bellshill, Scotland, on Friday January 25th.

Nellins is looking to get into title contention in 2019 and next weekend’s fight versus a to-be-confirmed foe will, hopefully, be his last four before moving into sixes and BUI Celtic title fights over the next few months.

Almost a year on since his last fight, Navan middleweight Chris Blaney [10(3)-1(0)] will return and trade leather in Walsall, England, on the Saturday February 16th.

The Last Man Standing semi-finalist hasn’t fought since the tournament but, having recovered from an eye injury and subsequent surgery, is keen for a big 2019.

The Ricky Hatton-trained fighter returns against a yet to be confirmed opponent but, once the ring rust is off, the ‘Ginja Ninja’ claims big fights will be the target.

The BUI Celtic super middleweight champion is Irish title keen and has been linked to JJ McDonagh over the last 12 months and has said he would like to trade leather with the vocal but inactive Thomas Finnegan.

On the very same night across the Atlantic there is a big step up for another exciting Irish middleweight in Derry’s Connor Coyle [8(3)-0].

With injury restricting him to just one fight in 2018, ‘The Kid’ is finally back in action in Florida where he moves into the big leagues with his maiden ten rounder at the St Petersburg Coliseum.

This fight is the co-headline attraction on the Roy Jones Jr-promoted bill which will be shown live on UFC FIGHT PASS.

Down Under on Friday March 1st there is a four-rounder for highly-rated Cork prospect Danny Keating [3(3)-0]. The Sydney-based welter takes on debutant Victor Nagbe at the Australian Technology Park in Eveleigh.

It’s a return to the ring following over seven months out for Keating who will be looking to move quickly towards the Queensland State title.

On Friday March 8th, in New York City, Clones welter Larry Fryers [9(3)-1(1)] continues his climb.

Having rebounded brilliantly from a shock loss, ‘Lethal Larry fights again in another eight rounder at the Amazura Concert Hall in Queens as he approaches title fights.

The Monaghan man, who has been matched hard so far on the tough East Coast small hall scene, will take on a to-be-confirmed foe.

The night after, Shercock light middleweight Owen Duffy [3(2)-0] will also fight on the road as he kicks off what could be a big year in London.

In what he is dubbing ‘The Road to the Cavan Homecoming’, Duffy begins on Saturday March 9th also against a to-be-announced opponent who is said to be a step-up.

Having worked his way to 3-0, the Assassin puncher will step up to six rounds for the first time at the Woodside Leisure Centre .

All this is without mentioning the massive Belfast card at the Ulster Hall on Saturday February 9th which features James Tennyson, Paul Hyland Jr, Luke Wilton, Tommy McCarthy, Mathew Fitzsimons, Cathy McAleer, and an Irish lightweight title fight between Feargal McCrory and Karl Kelly.

March 9th will see Paddy McDonagh [11(0)-2(0)] box for the BBBoC Celtic light heavyweight title versus Welsh champ Nathan Thorley, while the New South Wales title at 175lbs will be contested by Conor Wallace on Saturday February 2nd Down Under – with the Newry fighter also scheduled to box on March 30th.

Then, of course, you have the likes of Mick Conlan topping his annual bill at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on Sunday March 17th along with a big Philly card that weekend featuring Katie Taylor, Jono Carroll, and John Joe Nevin – with Jason Quigley also keen while, in Boston, Spike O’Sullivan is tentatively pencilled in for a Murphys Boxing bill.

Aside from confirmed dates, it has been announced that heavyweight Paddy Nevin [2(0)-0] will step up to six rounds in his next contest – while an official announcement of ‘Celtic Clash 8’ is expected imminently along with a big MTK card in Belfast.

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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: [email protected]