03 September 2009 – By Mark Doyle
Bernard Dunnes promoter, Brian Peters, has revealed that he is still hopeful of matching the Dubliner with Israel Vazquez.
When Dunne claimed the WBA super-bantamweight title in March with a stunning knockout win over Ricardo Cordoba, the Neilstown native was immediately linked with a lucrative bout with the divisions marquee name, Vazquez.
However, the dream bout failed to materialise for a number of reasons, not least because Dunne had been ordered to defend against his mandatory challenger, Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym, which he will do on September 26.
Peters insists, though, that Vazquez, who will make his return to the ring in a bout with Al Seeger on October 10 after an 17-month injury-forced absence, is still on Dunnes radar.
Vazquez is one of the sports great warriors. Hes a Mexican legend and his trilogy with Rafael Marquez will go down in history as one of the great boxing rivalries, the Meath man enthused.
However, Bernard sparred countless rounds with him when he trained with Freddie Roach out in LA. He knows him inside out and he would jump at the chance of a fight with him.
And Vazquez recently admitted that he, too, is hoping that Dunne comes through his bout with Kratingdaenggym unscathed as he is very keen on a bout with his former sparring partner. However, Magnifico freely admits that weight could be an issue as he now intends to campaign at featherweight.
I hope Bernard keeps winning; I have nothing but respect for him, Vazquez told Boxing News magazine.
Hes a friend of mine but sometimes in the boxing world you have to fight your friends and thats just the business were in. I like Bernard and I was happy to see him win a world title.
When I sparred Bernard he was fighting at featherweight, I feel that making super-bantamweight is harder for him. I would like a chance to fight Bernard Dunne in the near future.
Bernards title is at super-bantamweight but I feel more comfortable fighting at featherweight. If Bernard wouldnt mind moving up to featherweight to face me, just to see who the better man is then I would have no problem fighting in Ireland.
I remember sparring with Bernard and he is a heavy-handed fighter and has a lot of heart. I would like to fight in Ireland and give all the fans over there a match that they would love.
However, while Peters clearly has one eye on Vazquez, he insists Dunne is fully focused on Kratingdaenggym.
“There are no easy fights at top level and that’s certainly the case for Bernard on the 26th,” admitted Peters.
“Poonsawat is a tremendous fighter, he’s a real power house and he carries knockout power in both hands. He’s only lost once in 39 fights and he’s had almost as many knockouts as Bernard’s had fights so his statistics are very, very impressive.
“The bookies see it as a real 50-50 fight and to be honest it promises to be even tougher than the Cordoba fight. If you look at the Ring magazine ratings they have Poonsawat listed at number three and Bernard at six so although Bernard might be the Champion a lot of people clearly think that Poonsawat is the better man.
In many respects beating Poonsawat would even top the win over Cordoba. That’s the kind of challenge Bernard relishes though and in front of another big crowd at The O2 he’ll be a very difficult man to beat.”