St Patrick’s Weekend – PREVIEW


One of the biggest weeks in the Irish boxing calendar is upon us.

Irish boxers have a unique advantage over fighters of most other nationalities as our national holiday is a global event.

St Patrick’s-themed fight cards take place all around the world and 2019 is no different with lots and lots of action in American cities with historical Irish population.

However, the first fighter in action is somewhat closer to home, with Belfast super fly Luke Wilton [20(7)-5(1)-1] challenging for the Commonwealth title in Sheffield.

The Eastside veteran takes on prospect Tommy Frank [9(1)-0] at the Ponds Forge Arena on Friday night, live on Freesports.

Then it is over to Philadelphia and the biggest card of the weekend.

At the Liacouras Center, and live on DAZN and Sky Sports, Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Promotions put on a St Patrick’s Weekend card with TWO world title fights for Irish boxers.

In the headliner, Dubliner Jono Carroll [16(3)-0-1] challenges reigning champ and home favourite Tevin Farmer [28(6)-4(2)-1] for the IBF super featherweight crown while chief support sees Wicklow’s WBA and IBF lightweight ruler Katie Taylor [12(5)-0] look to unify further against WBO titlist Rose Volante [14(8)-0].

The undercard in Philly also features Olympic silver medallist John Joe Nevin [11(4)-0] who will hopefully start off a big year against Colombian Andres Figueroa [9(5)-3(3)].

Friday night was also set to feature a WBO featherweight title fight for Davey Oliver Joyce [9(7)-0] against Scot Stephen Tiffney [10(4)-1(0)] at the Bowlers Centre in Manchester but it is being reported that this fight has been postponed.

Moving on to Saturday, Boston is the place to be,

Murphys Boxing run their fourth annual ‘St Patrick’s Clash’ card at the House of Blues on which four Irish boxers feature.

In the co-main, Spike O’Sullivan [29(20)-3(2)] continues his comeback and move down towards light middleweight with a tricky eight rounder versus local fighter Khiary Gray [16(12)-4(1)].

In an exciting all-Irish match-up, Cork’s Noely Murphy [12(2)-1(0)-1] goes in against Dubliner John Joyce [7(4)-0] over eight at welterweight.

Finally then, there is a keep-busy fight for Niall Kennedy [12(7)-0-1] against a to-be-confirmed foe, with the Wexford heavy staying sharp ahead of big fights in the summer.

These three fights will, hopefully, be streamed live via the Murphys Boxing Facebook page.

On St Patrick’s Day itself [Sunday], there is action in New York with the third annual Conlan Revolution bill at The Theater at Madison Square Garden.

Mick Conlan [10(6)-0] returns to the famous venue for his second ten round fight as he builds toward a big rematch with Vladimir Nikitin. On a card shown live by ESPN+ and BoxNation, the Belfast featherweight takes on tough Mexican Ruben Garcia Hernandez [25(10)-3(1)-2].

Conlan will have support on the night from close friend Paddy Barnes [5(1)-1(1)]. The flyweight world title challenger returns from his loss to Cristofer Rosales in what looks to be a tricky six versus game Texan Oscar Mojica [11(1)-5(0)-1].

Finally then there is a four-round slot on the bill for Limerick welter Lee Reeves [2(2)-0] who faces American Edward Torres [1(0)-1(0)]

Sunday is also finals day at the European Under-22 Championships in Vladikavkaz, Russia.

Ireland currently have five fighters – Gabriel Dossen, Paddy Donovan, Amy Broadhurst, Adam Hession, and Niamh Earley – remaining and will hope to have some representation in the gold medal matches.

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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: [email protected]