BUI Celtic light welterweight champion Victor Rabei [6(2)-0)] will look to upgrade to the green belt when he takes on Dublin rival Jake Hanney [5(4)-1(1)].
The ten-round 140lbs clash will take place at the National Stadium, and live on TG4, on Saturday March 30th, with the details being confirmed at a press conference at the venue today.
Rabei v Hanney will play out as chief support on the night to Eric Donovan’s vacant Irish featherweight title fight with Stephen McAfee.
The title bout pits the show’s co-promoters against each other, with Rabei being part of the Assassin stable while Hanney was announced as a Boxing Ireland fighter earlier this week.
Rathmichael’s Rabei won the secondary belt last year, overcoming recent Irish title challenger Karl Kelly via eight-round points decision in June. This win followed a stoppage defeat of Belfast’s Mark Morris and was bookended by a stoppage win in Mayo on the Ray Moylette Homecoming bill which was also shown live on TG4.
Rabei was subsequently voted the Irish-Boxing.com Prospect of the Year and will now leave this bracket in his first bout of 2019
It’s a chance for the immensely marketable and charismatic Moldova-born fighter to establish himself both within Irish boxing and in a more general sporting sense.
However, Rabei faces a tough fight in Hanney – the first natural light welterweight he will have fought.
‘The Wizard’ has not fought in almost two years – with his last outing having been a bloody defeat to Tyrone McKenna for the belt which now adorns Rabei’s waist.
Before this, Hanney had been generating some genuine hype – winning the Aus-Boxing.com Prospect of the Year for 2014 back when he was living Down Under.
However, commitment has always been said to be the East Wall talent’s major downfall and he would see link-ups with Jay Byrne and Tony Davitt fall through following the McKenna war.
In recent months, though, Hanney has been training with Irish-Boxing.com Trainer of the Year Eddie Hyland in Tallaght and looks to be finally on the straight and narrow – just in time for a huge opportunity on national TV.