Rea given chance to shine in headline bout

There has been some bittersweet news for ‘Siucra’ Joe Rea.

The Ballymena bruiser’s fight next Friday with Tommy Robinson has been given top billing following the withdrawal of headliner Daniel Geale.

The news, while brilliant from the Irishman’s profile down Under, comes due to the death of Geale’s mother due to cancer.

Rea [10(4)-28(12)-5] faces former Aussie champ Tommy Browne [30(11)-6(2)-1] at the Wests Rugby League Club in Campbelltown, Sydney.

The bout, which will play out over eight rounds for the New South Wales title, will take place at light middleweight, giving the regularly super middleweight Rea a size advantage over the former Australian featherweight champ.

Rea intends to carry an Aboriginal flag into the ring alongside the tri-colour as a sign of respect to the native Australians.

The fight has garnered media attention in Australia as it is Tommy Browne’s first bout since the tragic death in the ring of his brother, Davey, last September. Davey Browne died following his final round knockout loss to Carlo Magali.

While the card will no longer be shown live on Fox Sports due to the absence of former World champion Geale, full replays will be aired afterwards.

Rea had recently become a something of a short-notice small-hall no-preparations journeyman, however between the weight (which forces him to train) and the platform, Rea is determined to cause the shock, and told how “I showed four years ago on Eddie Hearn’s Prizefighter that I fight better when there’s a camera in front of me!”

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: