10 April 2009 – By Neil Sinclair
It looks like I will be fighting Henry Coyle for the Irish light-middleweight title on the undercard of Martin Rogans Commonwealth title defence against Sam Sexton at the Odyssey in March.
I have to say I am delighted and I think it will be a brilliant fight for the fans. I have been training hard now for the last four weeks including plenty of good sparring and running. I havent fought in a while but I dont think that is going to be a problem because I really havent been out of the gym and I feel like Ive shook off the injuries I had last year.
The fact that the fight is in the Odyssey brings back good memories for me having beaten Bradley Pryce there in a British title defence a few years back. Come May 15 Ill be the only boxer to have fought there twice as a professional. Im excited about that.
I know most people have fond memories of the Kings Hall but Ive fought there a few times and actually only won once – because I got cut a couple of times. But I have special memories of the Odyssey and hopefully can build upon that on May 15.
This has the makings of a great fight. I wont go in there looking for a war, but I realise it could turn into a war. Im better when Im boxing behind my jab but Im prepared to go in to the trenches.
Topping the bill is Martin Rogan. Martin is an inspiration to anyone not just those involved in boxing. We went for a coffee last year just before Prizefighter. Before that he wasnt getting a look-in. He wasnt getting the fights or the press. You could see it was frustrating him because he was absolutely raring to go. So he took the chance when he got it and hasnt looked back. Hes having the first defence in the Odyssey and it is great for him. It will be interesting seeing just how far he can go.
Before all that I will be going to a couple of bills in the Ulster Hall. I have to say, as a venue I love the Ulster Hall. I won my first Ulster Senior title there. I made my pro debut there and I had a few other fights there.
Its been closed for a couple of years so Im looking forward to the Ulster Seniors on the 23rd and then going to watch Martin Lindsays fight against Paul Appleby a couple of days later.
A friend of mine Stephen Kirk has a lad on in the finals from Cairn Lodge and then there are a couple of lads from my old club Monkstown in action as well. So Ill be on the edge of my seat.
I also think Lindsay can pull it off. I saw his last fight and he ended that with one punch. But Appleby is good and it could be one of the best fights seen in Belfast in years.
Finally, I was down in the O2 for Bernard Dunnes fight with Ricardo Cordoba and it was just a fabulous occasion. Last month I said I thought he could win and he didnt disappoint me. He dug deep and he deserved it and fair play to him – he is WBA champion which I always felt was the best of all the titles.