The Main Mac Man – Joe Fitzpatrick happy with headline status

Joe Fitzpatrick [9(5)-0] is more than comfortable sitting on top of the bill.

‘The Dragon’ headlines his second successive Celtic Clash card when he takes centre stage in the Devenish tonight as Boxing Ireland continue to make him their Belfast focal point.

It’s somewhere the Commonwealth Games silver medal winner believes he belongs.

The Divis fighter is adamant he is the best lightweight in the country and as a result believes he should be a headline act.

“It’s back to back [headling]. I belong topping bills,” Fitzpatrick told Irish-Boxing.com ahead of the ninth edition of the popular fight series.

“I’m the top lightweight in Ireland so I should be topping bills.”

The headline status doesn’t just play to any ego the 24-year-old may have, it also helps with regard to securing opportunities.

Tonight see’s the latest Mac Man fight Iago Barros for his first title in the form of the BUI Celtic strap. The West Belfast fighter is delighted with the chance to celebrate moving into double figures in terms of wins by buckling a belt around his waist.

In bonus territory Fitzpatrick also believes victory tonight would set up an Irish title tilt.

“I’m over the moon to be getting a title tonight, it’s a good step for my career, I win this it takes me 10-0 and it’s on to the next one, the Irish title.”

The Boxing Ireland talent returned after over a year out with an impressive derby win over Stephen Webb. The stylist stopped his fellow West Belfast southpaw in the second round of what was a grudge match at that time.

It seemed a perfect way to re-announce yourself on the scene, but Fitzpatrick wasn’t overly pleased. ‘The Dragon’ would have liked more rounds.

“To be honest I was a bit disappointed with the last fight, it only going the short distance. Of course getting the win and the ring rust off was good, but I’d preferred if it went longer,” he adds before revealing there is no lasting ill feeling with Weeb, who was ruled out of tonight’s card with a nose injury.

“I do wish Webber all the best on his journey and hope he has a quick recovery.”

Standing between the talented Fitzpatrick and his first title is tough Spaniard Barros. The home fighter would be a clear favourite, but his opponent is tough and certainly comes to fight. Regardless ‘The Dragon’ doesn’t appear too concerned.

“I think he is being beat,” he finishes simply.

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: [email protected]