8 September 2010
Irish super middleweight Champion Anthony The Pride of Dublin Fitzgerald will put his title and his ring moniker on the line when he faces Robbie Long in their eagerly awaited rubber match on this Saturday’s Hunky Dorys Fight Night at the National Stadium in Dublin.
The completion of this all-Dublin trilogy is part of the undercard to a European title doubleheader with Brian Magee making the first defence of his European super middleweight title against Roman Aramian while Kiko La Sensacion Martinez and Arsen Martyrosian will battle it out for the vacant European super bantamweight crown.
For Dublin fight fans though the Fitzgerald Long clash will hold a special interest pitting the Champion, a Northsider from the inner city against the challenger from Tallaght on the Southside of the Liffey. Both men already hold a victory over the other and Saturday’s decider will have extra spice with Fitzgerald’s Irish title on the line.
The two men clashed for the first time at the start of 2009 with Long taking a points win but Fitzgerald gained revenge nine months later with a points win of his own to level the score at one win a-piece after two exciting back and forth battles. Since then Fitzgerald has gone on to win the Irish title while Long has been inactive and the Champion believes that will prove crucial on Saturday night.
I’m always confident going into every fight but I suppose I will carry a lot more confidence in to this fight because I’m a far better boxer now that our first two fights, said Fitzgerald.
The first time we met because I was very inexperienced in the pro’s but in the second fight I showed how much I had improved. I’ve had another four fights since then and I think I’ve shown improvement in each and every one of those fights while he hasn’t even fought since our last fight.
He’ a tough lad but I know that if I stick to the game plan I can make it a comfortable nights work. Of course there always a chance that we get drawn into another war but that’s no problem either, I can mix it with the best of them when I have to and here’s no way that title is leaving Sean McDermott Street.
However Long believes that Fitzgerald is reading to much into his recent inactivity and believes that overconfidence could prove to be his downfall. I definitely think he’s underestimating me and that’s going to be a big mistake, said Long.
The pressure is all on him, he’s the Champion so he has everything to lose so there’s no pressure on me and I think he’s in for a big shock on Saturday night. I’ve been working very hard for this fight and working on a lot of things in the gym that are going to surprise him so if everything goes to plan it will be a good fight but a short night!
The ambitious Champion believes he has bigger fish to fry than Long and has already set his sights on another all Irish clash with US based Derryman John Duddy.
I’d love to fight John and I think I’m ready for it. I need a challenge to bring out the best in me because you have to box the best if you want to be the best and I’d take that fight in a heartbeat if it comes along.