The Dragon roars again – Joe Fitzpatrick ready for ring return

Joe Fitzpatrick [7(4)-0] will step into the ring for just the second time this year on Saturday night.

Hardly ideal for an elite amateur prospect, the 2014 Commonwealth Games silver medalist is keen to make sure that he will now get busy and stay busy.

Fitzpatrick makes his return on the big Sky Sports bill at the SSE Odyssey Arena in Belfast, and the positive 22 year old is looking to make the most of the opportunity.

“Back now and hopefully I’ll stay back, no more injuries,” he told at today’s public workout in the Victoria Square Shopping Centre.

“It’s been six or seven months, a couple of hand injuries and a couple of let-downs. I’m back now, thank God, on a big show – so hopefully I can do the damage and move forward from here.”

“It was frustrating, six or seven months out is a long time in the boxing game, and with hand injuries I couldn’t really punch as well. ”

Out of the ring since his win on a Europa Hotel dinner show in February, Fitzpatrick is straight back in in a maiden arena appearance.

The Immaculata youngster is a crowd favorite, and is looking forward to a party atmosphere.

“A lot of tickets have been sold, the buzz is going to be brilliant,” he remarked.

“I’m Divis, I’m the only one [professional boxer] in the Lower Falls. They all can’t wait for a night out, they love it.”

“This will be my biggest fight professionally and it’s going to be brilliant, it’s going to be a great night.”

With manager Mark Dunlop being Matchroom’s man on the ground in Belfast, Fitzpatrick is hoping to benefit from Eddie Hearn’s big plans for the city.

This all starts with game Zambian Mwenya Chisanga [1(0)-1(1)] on Saturday night, and Fitzpatrick doesn’t want it to be a one-off.

‘The Dragon’ outlined his desire that “hopefully Eddie can have me out as much as he can. He’s going to be here four times a year, so hopefully I can get on the four cards”.

“I’ve watched a couple of videos of him [Chisanga], he’s a lot smaller than me. I’ll just keep the range and box the way I usually box and I should have no problem.”

Photo Credit: Laszlo Geczo Photography


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: