IRISH middleweight champion Eamonn O’Kane will go to battle with Mexican Alvaro Gaona for the vacant WBC International Silver Middleweight title at the Odyssey Arena on April 4th.
The 28 year-old Mexican, (13-3-0) is the WBC’s Fecombox champion since 2010 and comes into the bout with eight knockouts to his name. ‘The Cobra’ has lost two of his last four, and although he is aware Mexican’s trade on their toughness and never provide easy opposition, ‘King Kane’ is confident of victory.
“I know he is tall and rangy and he has won 13 of his 16 fights and has 8 KO’s, so he can punch a wee bit. But if I turn up and bring my strengths on the night I will get the job done,” the Prizefighter winner told the Derry Journal.
The International Silver title is the kind of belt that has potential to aggravate some fight fans, but whilst it is not the most prestigious of straps it provides the Derry puncher with a chance to move up the rankings.
The Commonwealth Gold medal winner claimed the IBF Intercontinental title in his last fight and subsequently took residency in the IBF top 10 making eligible for a world title challenge. The Bernardo Checa trained middleweight now hopes to do the same with the WBC by winning on the ‘This is Belfast’ card and Carl Frampton undercard.
“I am up for the fight and it will get me a ranking with the WBC,” added the Irish middleweight champion. “At this moment in time I am ranked nine by the IBF, so I am there or there abouts.
“A ranking is good but you have to take advantage of that ranking and I intend doing that. It would be nice to get another title and belt and the WBC is a well thought of organisation. Their green belts are like the green coats you get when you play golf,” he laughed.
Gaona, who turned professional in 2005, is a hard-hitting, aggressive and courageous fighter – evident by his eight knockout win so far.
His first and most notable loss as a pro. was to Esau Errera (17-5-1) in 2011 which he avenged the following year by a 10th round technical knockout.
However, the Mexican has lost two out of his last four fights since October 2012 when he lost to David Lemieux on world light-heavyweight champion, Adonis Stevenson’s undercard.
O’Kane has picked-up the Irish title and the IBF Inter-continental titles in his last two outings, and he is looking to make it three out of three against Gaona – an opponent he knows little about.