Wall to wall Falls – Joe Fitzpatrick predicts Lindsay v Appleby-style atmosphere when takes on Cully for Irish title

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So chaotic were the celebrations when Martin Lindsay stopped Paul Appleby at the Ulster Hall back in 2009 that they had to set of the fire alarm to try gain some form of order.

It was one of those special moments in boxing when an entire community rejoiced for one of their own doing good and reveled in a victory they felt they felt a major part of.

One of those celebrating in a jam packed atmospheric Ulster Hall was a teen Joe Fitzpatrick [10(7)-0]. He rejoiced with his neighbours as his fellow ‘Mac Man’ recorded victory with the help of Fitzpatrick’s father, who was in the corner with famous Nugget Nungent.

That night, easily one of the standout pro nights at the iconic venue, seemed to be the first thing to come to come to the BUI lightweight Celtic champions mind when Gary Cully [9(4)-0]somewhat defiantly placed a Kildare flag in the centre Ulster Hall ring by pointing out he will be ‘home fighter’ when the pair trade leather in one of the most eagerly anticipated Irish title fights in recent times.

‘The Dragon’ posted a video of the aftermath of that Lindsay win on social media as if to put out a call to arms and highlight the atmosphere the lower Falls Road can create.

Speaking to Irish-boxing.com the Boxing Ireland fighter pointed out the links between that night and February 1 and predicted his ‘unbelievable support’ will create a similar kind of atmosphere when he fights ‘The Diva’, who himself is a ticket seller of note.

“My father was Martins coach and I have boxed alongside him. In the same venue as he fought he will stand in my corner as my father stood in his,” Said Fitzpatrick.

“I have experienced the atmosphere at Martins fights first hand when a full community comes together in support. The lower Falls is a large family and one very strong community from which Martin and myself have gained unbelievable support over the years.

“As we stand the majority of all tickets are taken or reserved, a lot of my support have been people who previously traveled to support Martin. It’s a fantastic situation to be in and is overwhelming at times. The atmosphere will be electric. I genuinely can’t wait!”

Presumably Fitzpatrick and Cully have been given the the same ticket allocation and such is the magnitude of the fight both will sell out. However, the Belfast fighter suggests he could benefit from those who have purchased of other fighters from his ares.

“Lower falls aside we can travel up the road a bit and see the support and crowds Sean McComb, The Rook [Ruari Dalton] and Padraig McCrory will bring.”

Fitzpatrick is confident of having his Lindsay moment early in 2020, but if he does manage the victory his father and one of his closest friends won’t be celebrating with him.

However, that seems to be more motivation for the 25-year-old Commonwealth Games medal winner. Fitzpatrick renaissance over the last few months has roots in his fathers passing – and is driven by the thought of doing it for his Dad.

“It is common knowledge that my life outside the ring this year has been the worst ever. I lost not only my father, mentor and coach but I lost one of my best friends ‘Big Red’. This year has created so many roadblocks and hurdles for me, however the support and team i still currently have around me is what helps drive me forward and will continue my drive me in the direction my dad would have wanted.

“All we can do now is wait until February 1st and I guarantee you the results will speak for themselves.”


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: editoririshboxing@gmail.com