Niall Kennedy handed big American fight

Wexford heavyweight Niall Kennedy [7(4)-0] has secured the big fight that he has craved.

The Gorey Garda will make a big step up in class to face local heavyweight Jesse Barboza [11(7)-3(1)-1] at the House of Blues in Boston on Saturday March 18th.

Kennedy will step up to eight rounds for the first time in the fight, which looks to be, by far, the toughest of his career.

The pair share a common opponent in Arthur Saribekian, with Boom Boom Baz stopping him in the first last year, while Barboza took him out in the second back in 2013.

The American has been defeated in his past two bouts, being stopped by popular Pole Adam Kownacki and going the distance in a competitive clash with New England champion Alexei Santos.

The fight comes after a strong 2016 for Kennedy, who fought and won four times, thrice in Boston on Murphys Boxing cards with an Irish homecoming in November at the National Stadium.

While it is yet to be confirmed, it is hoped that the bout will be for the Massachusetts State heavyweight title.

The Murphys Boxing card is co-headlined by Kennedy’s Celtic Warrior’s gym mate Spike O’Sullivan, alongside Mark De Luca, and also features a live set from the Dropkick Murphys.

Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey look ahead to 2017 in episode 1 of The Irish Boxing Show

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