The Prizefighter-style middleweight tournament suffered some unfortunate pull-outs in the run-up and a number of replacements had to be sourced.
The entry criteria for the competitions required fighters to be potentially eligible for the BUI Irish title, and three English fighters of Irish ancestry have been brought in.
These are Liverpool’s Nick Quigley [15(3)-3(2)] whose grandfather was from Wexford, rangey Bolton puncher Jack Cullen [9(3)-0] whose father hails from inner-city Dublin, and Iraq War veteran Owen Jobburn [4(1)-0-1] from Stoke whose grandparents came from Athlone.
Of the three, Cullen came in as fourth seed, while Quigley and Jobburn were unseeded.
Navan’s Chris Blaney, the second seed, picked Jobburn as his quarter-final opponent at this afternoon’s draft gala.
It’s another fight with a Ricky Hatton-trained boxer for Jobburn [right], who drew over eight rounds with the undefeated Sam Evans in September.
This result was viewed as highly contentious, especially following a second-round knockdown ruled against Jobburn which looked to be a slip.
The fight is somewhat personal for the cheery Potter who admitted that “I’m delighted I got Blaney because last time I boxed his mate Sam Evans, boxed his arse off and got the draw. I’ll get a bit of redemption tomorrow.”
“I think Blaney’s a tougher test but, while I’m up against it, I think I have a good chance of winning.”
“It’s been a nightmare getting here, I just want a scrap and a pizza and a beer afterwards.”
Little Lever puncher Cullen [centre] is approaching the tournament with a less personal view.
Assigned a fight with Quigley by process of elimination, Cullen had no issues and noted how “it doesn’t matter who you fight in this game, we’ll all end up fighting each other.”
For Quigley [left] himself, he comes to the tournament with big experience of such single-elimination nights having finished runner-up in Prizefighter Light Middleweights back in 2011 and subsequently winning Total Combat in 2015.
The Scouser, who was involved in a good-natured war with Spike O’Sullivan last September, is aiming to use this experience to his advantage.
Quigley outlined how “I think when I was in Prizefighter, I went a little bit gung-ho in the semi-final. It’s one of them though, you’ve got to give it everything because, if you don’t, and you don’t get the decision for whatever reason, you’re regretting not using that little bit extra in the tank to get you the win. So, although while you’re holding back a bit of energy thinking that you’ll have another fight, you can’t hold too much back.”
“I did a tournament a few years after Prizefighter with Frank Warren which had a very similar format and for each round you stopped someone you got more money – and I stopped everyone I like to think I’ve learned from my younger Prizefighter days to the Frank Warren tournament and hopefully it follows on here.”
“It doesn’t matter who you’re fighting. If you want to win you have to beat everyone that’s put in front of you. It’s going to be unusual fighting someone as tall as him [Cullen], but I’m sure I’ll be able to reach.”
The talking is now done, and the trio will go up against Blaney, JJ McDonagh, Ger Healy, Vlad Belujsky, and Roy Sheahan tomorrow night live on TG4, with one man set to emerge victorious after three fights with a €25,000 winner’s cheque.