Opponent named for Anto Upton Belfast homecoming

Anto Upton [13(5)-1(0)] will return to the ring after over seven months out this Friday night.

The light welterweight will box on the Ginley Promotions bill at the Devenish Complex. Not only will it be a return from an extended period away, it will be a Belfast homecoming for the youngest of the three boxing brothers and, perhaps most importantly, his first fight under new trainer Barry Smith.

On his return to the ring, and his return to Belfast after almost three years, Upton will face Latvian welterweight Zaurs Sadihovs [4(4)-14(4)].

A regular on the British scene, the Baltic boxer is a frequent opponent for prospects and he has some Irish previous. Back in September 2015 he was outpointed by Dublin debutant Bernard Roe over four before going six with Upton’s older brother Pauly.

Upton last fought in July, sensationally knocking out Luke Paddock to win the English 140lbs title. He would then, alongside his two brothers, part company with longtime trainer Ricky Hatton. The trio would link up with Barry Smith and Harry Andrews at the West Ham Gym in London, and Anto had been due to box in December before illness forced him out of the bout.

The purpose of the fight this weekend is to shake off ring rust and adjust to having a new trainer in the corner, so in that regard it is a safe and solid comeback bout for the 25 year old.

Also featuring on the first Ginley Promotions card are Tyrone McCullagh, Alfredo Meli, Ciaran McVarnock, Stephen Ormond, Ian Tims, and Sean Turner.

Tickets for Dust Up at The Devenish cost £35 (unreserved) and £65 (ringside) and are available from the boxers on the bill or promoter Mark Ginley.

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