The Moldova-born Dub is hoping to bring a somewhat break-out year to a successful close with victory live on TG4 in Castlebar this Friday where he returns from a nose injury in a four-round contest.
However, it’s what possibly awaits rather than what the fighter, who won two-all Irish clashes and claimed the BUI light welterweight Celtic title, has achieved which puts him in a position to grab some serious spotlight.
The Rathmichael light welterweight’s management, Assassin, hope to continue a working relationship with TG4, who broadcast their ‘Homecoming’ card on Friday night.
The promotional=managerial outfit and Irish language station are claimed to be in talks for four TV broadcasts in 2019 and Assassin want to develop stars in various parts of the country.
Bosses Kaz Evans and Conor Slater are exploringplaces like Waterford and Cork for TV shows next year and the Steven O’Rourke-trained Rabei wants to be the headline act of any show which may be scheduled for Dublin.
“Most definitely, that’s what I’m pushing for,” an excited Rabei told Irish-Boxing.com when asked about the possibility of topping a Dublin TV show.
“Kaz and I have a very tasty 2019 planned out, so I’m gonna train hard and look forward to an exciting year.”
Ensuring his TV topping dream comes true might be helped if Rabei catches the eye of TG4 bosses and the imagination of the public on the undercard of Ray Moylette’s WBC ranking title fight at the Royal Theatre.
While he is one of the fighters guaranteed air-time, the marketable fighter claims he is more focused on his opponent, Antonio Horvatic, than the cameras that will be present.
“I don’t think about it too much because I don’t wanna get too excited about it,” promises Rabei.
“But it is very cool. I do put it as more motivation. Steven and I have a plan for the fight so I am gonna put all my focus on delivering. If I do that hopefully I end up impressing everyone at the venue and the people watching on TG4.”
Horvatic [10(5)-52(13)] provides the opposition for Rabei on Friday night and the Assassin fighter is hopeful he can crack and stop the 31-year-old Croat ‘nutcase’.
“I haven’t seen much of him, but I’ve heard he’s a nutcase,” noted the Dublin prospect who appears on the bill alongside gym-mate Roy Sheahan.
“So, I’m expecting just that, a going forward fighter swinging for the fences. I’m gonna go out and enjoy the fight, I think a stoppage is very likely, so O will go for that.”
Another lightweight/light welter prospect Sean McComb fights on Friday night, not in Mayo but in Belfast, and there has been faint talk of a possible Rabei-McComb BUI Celtic title fight.
The Dubliner would be open to taking on the former Elite amateur if it made sense – although it wouldn’t be in Dublin due to McComb’s management’s self-imposed exile from the Republic of Ireland.
“I’ve never thought about fighting Sean but everything is possible. If all goes well and a good opportunity pops up, I don’t see why not.”
Rabei was also an interested spectator as Martin Quinn and former foe Karl Kelly fought on Celtic Clash 7. Victory for Quinn could have potentially set up a clash with the Chisinau-born fighter, but Kelly got the nod and a rematch looks likely at lightweight.
Rabei described how “I had Martin winning the fight by a round, maybe two. But I’m not going take anything away from Karl, he won and I respect that.”
“It’s very easy for people to judge from outside of the ring. The ref was in there and they had him winning,” added the fighter who will now need to look elsewhere for a headline dance partner for any big Dublin show next year.
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)