Olympian and former Andy Ruiz foe next as Kennedy co-headlines UFC Fight Pass card


Niall Kennedy [13(8)-0-1] has been handed the step up he has called for and hopes to secure a world ranking when he fights in America on August 17th.

‘Boom Boom’ has been calling for an opponent that will move him toward the top end of the heavyweight table and may have just secured it as he co-main events on a Murphys Boxing show next month.

The Wexford heavyweight will face Devin Vargas [20(8)-5] in what is being built as a crossroads battle that will put the winner in line for a major opportunity in the red hot division.

Vargas could be deemed the best Kennedy has faced to date, he has certainly had more top end experience than any of the Irish heavyweight’s previous foes.

Indeed, he was last seen in the ring against now unified heavyweight champion of the world Andy Ruiz Jr.

He also has losses to world title challengers Dominic Breazeale, Andrzej Wawrzyk, and Kevin Johnson. 

Vargas also had a stellar amateur career winning three National titles and representing the USA in the 2004 Olympics.

It’s certainly a step up for the Gorey native and the chance for the Paschal Collins-trained fighter to put a relatively respected name on his record – and if Murphys can get a ranking title on the line it’s an opportunity for the 35-year-old to make a desired step up the ladder.

He would make that step up high up a UFC Fight Pass card at the MGM Springfield in a special outdoor matinee event, which wouldn’t be harmful in terms of increasing profile. 

“I’m excited to be fighting at MGM Springfield. It’s my first time in that area [of Massachusetts] and what an event to be on, getting to share the bill with the talented Charles Foster.”, says the humble heavyweight.

“We are hoping it [the fight] will be for a world ranking and my opponent, I believe, is a former Olympian who has mixed with the top table and who I am sure will bring the best out of me. Training is going exceptionally well. I’m going to put every ounce of blood and sweat into making my little boy, MJ and my wife proud. I am honored and blessed to have Ken and Packie guiding my career and at 35, this is the year where I want to get myself into the top 20 and into massive fights and for that to happen I need to perform on August 17th.”

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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: editoririshboxing@gmail.com