Opponent Scout Report: June 24th-25th

It’s a massive weekend for Irish fighters with the notable return of boxing to Dublin and the National Stadium.

Ahead of a the massive card on the South Circular Road we take a look at the men in the opposing corners.

Friday June 24th
Wests Rugby League Club in Campbelltown, Sydney
Joe Rea
[10(4)-28(12)-5] – Light middleweight
Síucra Rea challenges Tommy Browne [30(11)-6(2)-1] for the New South Wales title over ten rounds.
– Record: Fighting for the first time in nearly a year since the tragic death of his brother. A two-time World title challenger (albeit at featherweight in 2005).
– Style: Sharp and well-schooled, but his power has become less of a factor with the move up in weight. Shows flashes of real quality, but can be outworked
– Video: A win over journeyman Pramool BoonPok last year
– Verdict: A title fight and a chance to cause a big shock for Rea.
A good opponent

Middleton Arena, Greater Manchester
Tommy Carter [debut] v Matty Mainwaring [1(0)-0] – Middleweight
– Both fighters of Irish descent. Carter with links to Holy Family in Drogheda while former professional footballer Mainwaring was part of the Ireland U19s squad.
– Mainwaring won on his debut in December in a close fight with Victor Edagha.
– Carter is the long-schooled amateur with a style more suited to the pros, while Mainwaring is a fan turned fighter whose natural talent is being moulded by Matthew Hatton.
A great fight for both

Saturday June 25th
National Stadium, Dublin
Alan Donnellan
[8(2)-3(0)] – Super Middleweight
Donnellan takes on Hungary’s Gabor Zsalek [11(6)-35(24)-2] over 6 rounds.
– Record: First time fighting in Ireland or Britain. Recently knocked out by former EU champ Andrea De Luisa and was an early opponent of World title-chasing cruiserweigh Mairis Briedis. Comes into the bout off the back of a win.
– Style: Upright and orthodox. Doesn’t spoil, and throws tentative telegraphed shots. Very low punch resistance
– Video: A 2014 loss to fellow Hungarian Yasin Basar
– Verdict: Donnellan is returning from 13 months of inactivity and Zsalek provides a safe and solid foe.
A good oppponent

Darren Cruise [6(0)-5(0)] – Middleweight
Cruise faces Hungarian Ferenc Katona [3(1)-0] over 6 rounds
– Record: Unbeaten since turning pro in April with wins over Hungarian journeymen.
– Style: Unknown. No footage available.
– Video: No footage available.
– Verdict: An unknown quantity with a taste for victory. Dangerous.
Unable to give verdict due to lack of information

Bernard Roe [3(0)-0] – Light middleweight
Roe fights Marcin Cybulski [8(7)-6(2)] of Poland over 4 rounds.
– Record: Not massively active in the last two years. Scored a draw with former Matt Macklin opponent Chris Hermann and a close loss to former Dee Walsh opponent Patryk Litkiewicz.
– Style: Busy, puts shots together well and targets the body. Decent mover.
– Video: 2014 win over Aliaksandr Abramenka.
– Verdict: Step up in quality for Roe on his Dublin debut
A good opponent.

Tyrone McCullagh [3(3)-0] – Featherweight
White Chocolate faces Latvian Aleksandr Birkenbergs [3(3)-4(3)] over four rounds.
– Record: Beaten every time he has fought outside of Latvia. Stopped with a broken rib in the second round by Belfast’s Mathew Fitzsimons.
– Style: Wild. Jumps in with crude swings. Lacks fundamental skills.
– Video: His loss last year to Fitzsimons
– Verdict: His style would make Birkenbergs dangerous for any novice boxer, but not a former World class amateur like McCullagh.
Not a good opponent

Michael Devine [13(4)-5(2)-1] – Lightweight
Chunky takes on Latvian Vitalijs Usovs [3(3)-0] over four rounds
– Record: Unbeaten. Won a Latvian Prizefighter-style tournament last year.
– Style: Has background in mixed martial arts. A come-forward brawler.
– Video: A draw in an MMA bout with Jānis Freimanis
– Verdict: This is a keep-busy bout for Devine and a chance to end a four-fight losing streak. However, Usovs presents a rough and scrappy foe who won’t be a walkover.
A good oppponent

Paul Hyland Jr [11(3)-0] – Lightweight
Belfast’s Hylo faces Hungarian Laszlo Fekete [15(10)-10(8)] over six rounds.
– Record: On the nine occasions he has fought outside Hungary or Slovakia, he has been stopped eight times (including a one round loss to former European super bantamweight champ Rendall Munroe). Drew last year with the decent Csaba Kovacs.
– Style: Wildly agressive with huge windmilling swings.
– Video: A first round stoppage over Csaba Torma.
– Verdict: Not as good an opponent as Hyland’s recent foes. Although if Hyland doesn’t have the power to stop Fekete it could lead to an exciting fight.
An okay opponent

Stephen Carroll [2(0)-0] – Welterweight
Shortty takes on Latvia’s Jevgenijs Kravcuks [1(1)-0] over four rounds
– Record: Only began professional career this year, lost last time out against Georgie Wright but gave the English prospect a torrid time.
– Style: Comes to win. Looks to smother and brawl.
– Video: No footage available.
– Verdict: Should help create a crowd-pleasing fight with Carroll – who himself doesn’t need an invitation to get in a scrap.
A good oppponent

Sean Creagh [3(1)-0] – Welterweight
Creaghsy takes on Gyula Tallosi [11(7)-9(7)] a Hungarian lightweight over four rounds
– Record: A regular winner in Hungary but loses, and is most usually stopped, whenever he leaves the country.
– Style: Awkward. Has a bizarre style and invites pressure so he can score counters.
– Video: A close loss to Chris Lawrence earlier this year.
– Verdict: A career-toughest challenge for the rapidly-improving Creagh although, especially considering his size advantage, he should stop Tallosi.
A good oppponent

Eric Donovan [debut] – Super Featherweight
Lilywhite Lightning fights durable Pole Damian Lawniczak [3(0)-15(2)] over four rounds.
– Record: Has fought all over Europe and has gone the distance with Zelfa Barrett and Anthony Settoul in recent times. Comes into the bout on the back of a win over debutant Tom McGinley.
– Style: Slippery and evasive, takes very few clean shots.
– Video: A close loss to Marek Pietruczuk last year.
– Verdict: Very durable and will give Donovan rounds in his first fight in over a year.
A good oppponent

Jake Hanney [4(4)-0] – Light Welterweight
Hanney takes on Dutch-based Nigerian Innocenct Anyanwu [22(13)-17(4)-3] over four rounds
– Record: A former Dutch and BeNeLux super featherweight champion. Had Gary Buckland in trouble and his only stoppage defeats (all of which came after the fifth round) came against high-level European operators Edis Tatli, Antonio Bento, Rudy Encarnacion, and Dennis Berinchyk.
– Style: Rugged and tough. Hard to pierce his high guard and dangerous on the inside with hooks.
– Video: A competitive points loss to Encarnacion
– Verdict: Hanney is returning to the ring to face a career-best opponent after over a year and a half of inactivity.
A good opponent.

Jay Byrne [debut] – Light Middleweight
Byrne takes on Hungarian Gabor Ambrus [7(4)-3(3)]
– Record: His three loses came through an injury, and stoppages to Italian prospect Diego Di Luisa and Matchroom starlet Ted Cheeseman. Will be fresh and ring-ready after recently facing 25-1-1 Italian Alessandro Goddi, with the bout being ruled a no contest due to a clash of heads.
– Style: Unknown. No footage available.
– Video: No footage available.
– Verdict: Judging purely by record, Ambrus is a massive test for a debut, especially for a relative newcomer to the sport.
A good opponent

Chris Blaney [debut] – Super Middleweight
The Ginger Ninja faces Czech boxer David Bauza [1(0)-1(0)-2].
– Record: A win and two draws against Slovakian journeymen and a loss to a German prospect.
– Style: Unknown. No footage available.
– Video: No footage available.
– Verdict: An unknown quantity.
Quality of opponent is not a major factor for a professional debut, so in that regard, 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