Eamonn O’Kane put up a gallant losing effort against Tureano Johnson at the weekend in their middleweight title eliminator in Madison Square Garden, and trainer Paddy Fitzpatrick believes that his man can return to boxing’s top table and fight for World titles.
After two opening round knockdowns, the Derry boxer battled back to push Johnson all the way en-route to losing a twelve round unanimous decision.
Fitzpatrick feels that O’Kane made a great impression stateside and the Clare man is targeting one fighter in particular, fellow Irishman Andy Lee.
The trainer told the Derry Journal that “It makes sense for the American market for Andy Lee to fight Eamonn O’Kane on St Patrick’s Day in Madison Square Garden where HBO has fallen in love with Eamonn and he’s proven himself over there.”
Describing the organisational situation, the Swindon-based coach reasoned that “Andy’s next fight after Saunders can be a voluntary fight. I know Eamonn would need to be ranked in the top 15 with WBO but considering the type of fight he went through against Tureano Johnson, who is ranked highly by all four governing bodies, I don’t see that as an insurmountable stepping stone we can’t overcome.”
Fitzpatrick argued that “a fight with Andy is definitely not a pipe-dream.”
“There’s no way people could say Eamonn doesn’t deserve it. He’s proven he deserves to be at world level.”
On the Derry-Limerick match-up, Fitzpatrick thinks that it “would be an exciting fight.”
“The American audience would get behind it. New York would get behind it because an Irish man in New York isn’t far from home. HBO would love it.”
“It would make sense for Andy financially because it would sell no problem.”
For Simon Collins’s full interview with Paddy Fitzpatrick click HERE