Kane Gardner is thankful for Pierce O’Leary’s willingness to fight but warns he won’t be showing gratitude when they share the ring in London tomorrow.
Dubliner O’Leary boxes the Brit on the undercard supporting the heavyweight rematch between Zhilei Zhang and Joe Joyce at Wembley Arena on Saturday night.
It’s the kind of opportunity Gardner, 28, has been screaming for but has struggled to get.
Indeed, the fact he comes into the fight off a run of four straight wins and two significant triumphs suggests it’s a chance he deserves.
However, he claims away corner wins over the highly-rated Marios Matamba and Conah Walker in Gladgow and Bolton respectively have made him too risky for some named fighters.
Not ‘Big Bang’ though who puts his WBC international light welterweight title on the line against Gardner, much to the 28-year-olds delight.
“It is what I wanted and what I need,” said the Lancashire-based bomber. “I am more than ready for it. I haven’t been able to get anyone before and I have been turned down left, right and centre for a number of reasons.
“I am just happy that I have got a title fight now after seven years. I think I was put forward to fight Dalton Smith two or three times and they turned it away. It can be disheartening but I kept telling myself to stick at it and an opportunity would come.”
Weighed in and ready to go.— Irish-Boxing.com (@Irishboxingcom) September 22, 2023
This is a big fight and a good step up for Pierce O'Leary.
Video courtesy of Queensberry Promotions. pic.twitter.com/pmlF5sU1uK
O’Leary is also a fighter many think twice about sharing the ring with. His thirteenth career foe understands why but says he is excited by the prospect of fighting the Inner City Dub.
“I have seen a bit of Pierce and I know he can punch a bit, but this is what I am in the game for. I don’t mind 50-50 fights, I have been in them before and it is what I want,” he adds before suggesting he will make most of the opportunity.
“I have been saying this is my breakthrough year and this fight will literally complete it. It can’t fail to be a good fight and I am never in a dull one, really.”