West Belfast Derby set for Ulster Hall show

The Irish boxing year could start with a real bang as the ‘A Night to Remember’ at the Ulster Hall gets potentially more memorable by the day.

After confirming a clash between recent world title challenger James Tennyson and undefeated Pompey puncher Garry Neale and a solid fight between Paul Hyland and Czech Miroslav Serban, Mark Dunlop revealed Feargal McCrory and Karl Kelly would compete in the first Irish title fight of 2019 on the Saturday February 9th card.

Now, having been informed by numerous parties involved in the match-up, Irish-Boxing.com reveal that  the Tyrone v Dublin lightweight meeting won’t be the only domestic derby on the bill.

An intriguing battle of West Belfast has been agreed for the MHD card at the and should be officially confirmed over the coming 24 hours.

The returning Joe Fitzpatrick [8(5)-0] will take on recent debutant Stephen Webb [1(0)-0] on a card that also includes Tommy McCarthy, Luke Wilton, Cathy McAleer and Matthew Fitzsimons.

It’s an intriguing match up between two confident fighters who hail from just a few miles apart, with Immaculate graduate Fitzpatrick living in Divis while Holy Trinity puncher Webb is of the St James’s area on the Falls.

The young pair are well acquainted with each other and even spent some time sparring together last year.

Webb (left) and Fitzpatrick (right)
Webb (left) and Fitzpatrick (right)

It’s proof Commonwealth Games silver medallist Fitzpatrick, who is returning after a 15 month absence, is keen to jump straight back in the mix and establish himself as a lightweight of note, while 23-year-old Webb it seems to have similar ambitions.

‘The Spider’ fighter called out BUI Celtic light welterweight champion Victor Rabei as recently as last month, was talking Gary Cully before he debuted, and has now got his all-Irish wish in just his second fight.

24-year-old Fitzpatrick has always been keen for big fights but ‘The Dragon’ has seen his development slowed by injury and lack of discipline. Now full focused and training with Sean McCullagh, he gets his chance in just over five weeks time.

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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