26 January 2009 – Press Release
Billy Walsh and Stephen Haughian will finally get it on for the Irish Welterweight title at the Craigavon Leisure Centre on February 7.
Haughian has been eyeing a crack at the undefeated Corkman’s title ever since he won it 12 months ago and now he’s got his wish.
“To be fighting so close to home is a dream come true and to fight for the Irish title is the icing on the cake,” said the Lurgan man.
Haughian’s only up close and personal look at Walsh came when he appeared on the Leesider’s undercard in Cork two years ago and he says he saw enough night to know he can win.
“He’s the kind of guy that just comes out swinging,” said Haughian. “He doesn’t take a backward step so it should be a good fight. He’s a decent right hand and a good left hook and I’m sure he’ll start fast but I’m confident and my preparations couldn’t have gone any better so I’ll be ready for whatever he brings.”
Walsh is also quietly confident ahead of the first defence of his title and former two weight World Champ Vinny Pazienza has already made it known that he’s a fan of the Cork man.
Pazienza, who was known as the “Pazmanian Devil” during his fighting days is familiar with Walsh from his time in the U.S. The Rhode Island native enjoyed a glorious career that included an amazing comeback from a broken neck suffered in a car accident.
Since retiring in 2004 Pazienza has concentrated on TV work and he likes what he’s seen of Walsh. “I like Billy, he’s just a naturally tough guy who comes out banging. He’s got some boxing skills but he’s a tough SOB to go with it.
“He looks really good, has tons of ability and has a lot of amateur experience too. He’s known as ‘Billy Boy’ but I think they should change his nickname to ‘Hammerin’ Billy Walsh because he throws tons of punches and is heavy handed.”
One welterweight who won’t be on the card is Neil Sinclair. The Belfast puncher has suffered a recurrence of a niggling back injury that also caused him some problems last year and has been forced to withdraw from the Craigavon card. Two weight Irish champ, Andy Murray from Cavan heads the undercard as he looks to stretch his unbeaten professional run to 14 straight fights. Belfast’s Kevin “Sweet Pea” O’Hara is also in action along with unbeaten light welterweight Michael Kelly and popular Omagh prospect, Damian Taggart.
Tickets priced 30, 40 and 60 are available from:
Stephen Haughian 07595672699
Maurice Haughian 07733413516
Woodville Arms 02838324005
Ashburn Hotel 02838325711
John Breen 07802898054
Breens Gym (above Monico Bar, Belfast) 02890278708
Damian Taggart 07746527958
Michael Kelly 0877618356
Coley Traynor 07779594007
Best Rate Bureau 02830252595