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Niall Kennedy suggests all-Irish heavyweight clash on Sky Belfast bill

The past few days have switched on a lightbulb in the head of popular Wexford heavyweight Niall Kennedy [8(5)-0].

On Thursday, a big Sky Sports show was announced for June 10th in Belfast, while last night the boxing world stood in awe at one the best heavyweight title fights of recent years where two respectful fighters did their talking in the ring.

The likes of Joshua-Klitschko and Frampton-Santa Cruz over the past twelve months have added to the argument that trash talking is not always necessary to build a big fight – and that a gentlemanly build-up can be a refreshing break-up in a sport littered with fake ‘beef.’

Therefore, the gentle giant from Gorey would like to put on something of an Irish version of Joshua-Klitschko when the Sky cameras roll into town for Ryan Burnett v Lee Haskins on June 10th.

Kennedy, who won the Massachusetts State title with an eighth round knockout of Jaime Barboza last month, has called on his old friend Martin Rogan [16(8)-6(4)] to take on a fight that he feels would benefit all parties involved.

The quick heavyweight is trained and managed by Packie Collins, whom Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn has already been in discussion with regarding the June 10th undercard, and Kennedy is hoping for a slot.

‘Boom Boom Baz’ explained to Irish-Boxing.com that “I feel wrong doing this, I’m not a disrespectful man, but the fight makes sense.”

“Martin is a legend in Belfast and I’ve massive time for him, he has been very good to me in the past when I was starting out.”

“Last night showed that being respectful can still make for good fights.”

“It would be a good fight, and me and Martin have both shown that we sell a lot of tickets.”

Rogan turns 46 tomorrow and has not fought in almost three years, but the Belfast man remains in fighting shape, training away continuously.

‘Big Rogie’ had long seemed to be on course for a fight with Dubliner Sean Turner, but this fight has fallen by the wayside in recent times and ‘Big Sexy’ now has his sights set on an Irish title fight with Con Sheehan. With this in mind, an eight-round BUI Celtic title fight here could fit the bill.

The card in just under six weeks time is headlined by a homecoming for Ryan Burnett, and currently Lagmore lightweight Paul Hyland Jr [15(5)-0] is the only name confirmed for the undercard, with more to be announced at a press conference on Wednesday.

Photo Credit: Laszlo Geczo Photography

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