Tyrone McKenna v Phil Sutcliffe fight OFF again – HUGE replacement announced

This evening has seen the emergence of some simultaneously frustrating and amazing news.

The hugely-anticipated all-Irish light welterweight clash between Tyrone McKenna and Phil Sutcliffe Jr in Belfast on June 30th is OFF.

Dubliner Sutcliffe has pulled out via an unspecified injury but Belfast’s McKenna [16(6)-0-1] remains on the Mick Conlan Homecoming bill in a bout of massive relevance.

It has been confirmed that English star Jack Catterall [21(12)-0] has stepped in to face ‘The Mighty Celt’ in a clash which could potentially end up being something of a world title final eliminator.

Catterall, a stablemate of Carl Frampton under Jamie Moore, will put his WBO Inter-Continental title and #5 ranking on the line at the SSE Odyssey Arena.

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McKenna, who once carried the ring nickname ‘El Gato’ used currently by Catterall, goes from a solid favourite versus Sutcliffe to a big underdog against the English starlet – but the bout represents a massive opportunity for the Lenadoon southpaw.

Catterall’s promoter, Frank Warren, has made no secret of his desire to match the 24-year-old with Terry Flanagan should, as is expected, the Manchester boxer defeats Maurice Hooker next Saturday [June 9th] and becomes the new WBO light welterweight world champion.

There are, of course, a lot of ifs and buts, but McKenna will be hoping to derail this plan and announce himself on the world scene and as the next in line for ‘Turbo Terry’.

While the fight with Sutcliffe has long been looked forward to – with the pair due to meat on the Frampton-Donaire bill in April before the Dubliner also pulled out through injury – McKenna is delighted with his new assignment

He said that “when I heard Sutcliffe Jr was out again my heart sank but then I was told Catterall was in and it’s amazing. I’ve wanted that fight for 18 months.

“It’s extra motivation for me in camp now. Catterall is a massive name. I sparred him and I speak to him so I know what he brings to the table.”

Also a British title winner, Catterall will be making the seventh defence of his WBO rankings belt and will be returning to the ring just six weeks on from his facile win over Christopher Sebire.

He notes how “I’ve only had two rounds in the ring this year but I knew sooner or later I would be involved in a big fight. I was expecting a different opponent but this makes perfect sense.

“I fought just two weeks ago and it wasn’t much of a fight so this is brilliant. I’m in shape anyway and Tyrone was training. Both camps and both fighters want it and that’s great to see.”

The fight is part of a sensational undercard in just over four weeks time, with Jono Carroll rematching Deco Geraghty at super featherweight, Tyrone McCullagh fighting Joe Ham for the BBBoC Celtic super bantamweight title, and Paddy Gallagher taking on recent WBO welterweight title challenger Gary Corcoran – with Mick Conlan headlining versus former world title challenger Adeilson Dos Santos.


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie