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Opponent Scout Report: July 28th-30th

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It’s a huge weekend for Irish boxing, one of the biggest in years, and we take our weekly look at the opponents here.

Thursday July 28th
The Danforth Music Hall, Toronto, Ontario
Tim Cronin [7(2)-1(0)-1] – Light Heavyweight
Irish Tim takes on Slovak Kristof Demendi [10(6)-1(0)-2] over six rounds
– Record: A twelve fight unbeaten run against journeymen opposition in Slovakia came to an end last month in Italy when he lost to Marco Scafi [then 6(2)-1(1)].
– Style: A journeyman in all but record. Doesn’t commit much to his punches and looks to tie up when inside.
– Video: Last month’s loss to Scafi.
– Verdict: Durable and tricky for Cronin who is looking to bounce back from a technical draw last time out.
A good opponent

Saturday July 30th
Wests Rugby League Club in Campbelltown, Sydney
Joe Rea [10(4)-29(12)-5] – Middleweight
Síucra Rea fights Yong Zhang [5(1)-4(2)-1] over four rounds.
– Record: The Chinese-born boxer had a tough start to life in the pros, but now has promotional support and is unbeaten in three.
– Style: Unknown.
– Video: No video footage available.
– Verdict: A chance to cause an upset for Rea.
A good opponent

Guildhall, Preston
Tom Duff [2(0)-0] – Middleweight
Duff makes his return from nearly two years out against a to-be-confirmed opponent.

First Direct Arena, Leeds
Frankie Gavin [22(13)-2(1)] – Welterweight
Gavin fights Croatian Ivo Gogosevic [12(5)-16(5)-2] over six rounds.
– Record: All his wins came in Croatia, and he has been beaten the four times he fought in Britain, stopped by Johnny Coyle but went the distance with Tyler Goodjohn.
– Style: An above-average journeyman with a nice jab, but a tendancy to throw wild haymakers.
– Video: A ten-round points loss to German Deniz Ilbay.
– Verdict: Admittedly a rust-shaking comeback fight for Gavin but they could have gotten someone much better for a man who still has title ambitions.
Not a good opponent.

Ryan Burnett [13(9)-0] – Bantamweight
Burnett defends his WBC International title against Mexican Cesar Ramirez [12(6)-2(1)] over ten rounds.
– Record: Defeated the only two times he has stepped up his level of opposition, including a stoppage loss to former Frampton foe Alejandro Gonzalez Jr in 2012.
– Style: Unknown.
– Video: No video footage available.
– Verdict: Judging by record, he doesn’t seem to pose a challenge to Burnett, but we are never going to underestimate a Mexican after Junior Granados last year.

Patrick Hyland [31(15)-2(1)] – Featherweight
The Punisher takes on Josh Warrington [23(4)-0] in a top-of-the-bill clash over twelve for the WBC International title.
– Record: Impressive wins in the last few years over Hideshi Amagasa, Joel Brunker, Martin Lindsay, Dennis Tuberion, Samir Mouneimne, Rendall Munroe, and Davide Diele have brought him into World title contention.
– Style: An unbelievable engine supplemented by good boxing skills make up for his lack of natural power.
– Video: His career-best win against Brunker where he made it look easy.
– Verdict: The fight Pajo has been looking for for the last two years.
A good opponent

Memorial Hall, Plymouth, Massachuestes
Niall Kennedy [4(2)-0] – Heavyweight
Boom Boom Baz takes on American Willie Palms [10(5)-10(4)-1] over six rounds.
– Record: A US amateur champ, began his career with some great wins before slipping into journeyman mode. Has not fought since 2011 since when he has been fulfilling a role as a high-end sparring partner.
– Style: Technically excellent. Skilled, loose, throws a full range of shots.
– Video: A 2001 win over the then 6(5)-0 southpaw Moises Droz
– Verdict: Real sink-or-swim fight for Kennedy and his American ambitions.
A good opponent

Paddy Irwin [1(1)-0] – Welterweight
Athlone’s Irwin fights debutant Khaaliq Core over four rounds of whom there is no footage available.

Barclays Centre, New York
Conrad Cummings [9(5)-0-1] – Middleweight
Dynamite faces a to-be-confirmed opponent over eight rounds.

Carl Frampton [22(14)-0] – Featherweight
‘The Jackal’ takes on champion Leo Santa Cruz [32(18)-0-1] over 12 rounds for the WBA featherweight title.
– Record: Burst onto the scene at bantamweight, winning a World title and much acclaim. The fanfare dimmed after some so-so performances at super bantamweight, but has looked better than ever in his most recent two fights against Abner Mares and Kiko Martinez.
– Style: Great chin, decent power and skills, physically imposing. Throws a mind-boggling amount of shots. Questionable footwork.
– Video: His win over Abner Mares, which showed that he can box as well as fight.
– Verdict: The chance for Frampton to become an Irish boxing legend.
A good opponent.

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