What next for the Celtic Clash 6 Fighters?

There was a real sense of progression about ‘Celtic Clash 6‘ on Saturday night.

Title fights and step ups were the order of the day at Good Counsel GAA Club in Drimnagh and it was a card that looked to perfectly set up ‘Celtic Clash 7’ whenever and whereverĀ  that may be.

Below Irish-Boxing.com take a look at what could be next for the fighters that were in action.

Carl McDonald [4(0)-2(0)]
The Jobstown super bantamweight picked up the BUI Celtic featherweight title with a mightily impressive win over Colin O’Donovan. Suggestions he could face Eric Donovan for the Irish featherweight title were quickly quashed, with ‘The Cobra’ set return to his more natural weight. An all-Jobstown battle with Dylan McDonagh for the BUI Celtic title at 122lbs looks to be a perfect fight – however, McDonagh is himself a small bantamweight.

Colin O’Donovan [1(1)-3(1)-1]
His record may not be easy on the eye but Cork’s O’Donovan remains a hard night’s work for anyone and very capable of getting a win. While being Irish title-eligible, a fight with Eric Donovan is unlikely following the weekend’s results but there remains potential options and a trip up North to face Newtownards featherweight Stevie Quinn Jr [9(2)-2(0)] on the next MHD Promotions bill is one which appeals.

Victor Rabei [5(1)-0]
The Moldovan-Dub won the BUI Celtic light welterweight title versus Karl Kelly and is another with options. Crumlin’s Martin Quinn [2(1)-0] has been floated as has a long-mooted move down to lightweight. At 135lbs there is Joe Fitzpatrick [8(5)-0] up North while there has also been talk in recent days of an all-Moldova clash with the New Jersey-based Piotr Apostol [5(2)-0]. The former top amateur, who lost to Tyrone McCullagh in the 2010 Euros, has featured on Top Rank bills in the past and his team have stated their willingness to face Rabei on the Top Rank card mooted for Madison Square Garden on December 8th, a bill which will also feature Mick Conlan.

Karl Kelly [1(0)-2(0)]
The Monkstown slugger won huge admiration for his display on Saturday. The smaller Kelly pushed and pressured Rabei throughout, taking some huge shots, and landing more than a few heavy ones of his own. A move to lightweight, at least, is required and there are plenty of all-Irish fights here. While Martin Quinn has been linked with Rabei, a clash with Kelly is perhaps a more fan-friendly affair, while a clash with Dan McShane [10(3)-1(1)] is another action fight. First though, Kelly will look to get a win on the board fighting from the home corner.
Eric Donovan [9(4)-0]
The jewel of the Boxing Ireland crown, the Kildare featherweight is in a delicate position currently with hand and shoulder injuries which will need to be remedied for his overall progression. Donovan is keen for an Irish title fight and the rapidly-improving Stephen McAfee may fancy a drop down in weight while Quinn is another option – although he may need a good few warm-up fights. Other than that it’s relatively slim pickings in Ireland and ‘Lilywhite Lightning’ may have to look for strong continental opposition as he primes himself for a charge at EU champion Andoni Gago.

John Joyce [6(3)-0] and Keane McMahon [4(1)-0]
The Dublin welterweight duo both scored career-best wins, with Joyce coming through a gruelling six-rounder with Angel Emilov while Keane McMahon looked sharp as he stopped Jade Karam in the third. Both are eager for step-ups, McMahon especially, and the pair would provide the perfect headline fight for a Dublin show – and one which could be for the BUI Celtic title if champion Jay Byrne agrees to step aside (indeed, the winner of a Joyce-McMahon bout could provide Byrne with the Irish title opponent he so desperately craves).

Stephen McAfee [4(2)-0-1]
The Sallynoggin super feather, following his BUI Celtic title win over O’Donovan, had a good, hard win over Damian Lawniczak at the weekend and stated afterwards his desire for another big all-Irish fight. ‘Showtime’ is hopeful of an Irish title shot but there is a dearth of options available at 130lbs. A move down to face Donovan is possible but what really intrigues us would be a defence of his BUI Celtic title versus local rival and former clubmate Niall O’Connor.

Dylan McDonagh [3(1)-0]
The Jobstown bantam moved up to six rounds and had a brilliant learning fight versus Georgi Georgiev and now wants a title shot. ‘The Firecracker’ does not seem especially keen to step up to super bantamweight where his fellow Tallaght talent Carl McDonald stands. Instead, McDonagh is hoping for a title fight at super fly or bantamweight – although there does seem to be severe lack of BUI Celtic-eligible opponents in these classes.

Niall O’Connor [4(3)-0]
The Ballybrack super feather is desperate for a big fight having seen his first six-rounder on Saturday end in an easy one-round knockout win. O’Connor is especially keen for a shot at McAfee and his title – a fight which seems easily-made – while another option could be Belfast’s Mark Morris [3(1)-2(2)] who is open to fighting on the road.

Graham McCormack [3(0)-0]
The Garryowen light middleweight showed notable improvements versus Radoslav Mitev and a step up to six rounds is now in order versus a good durable opponent – Daniel Przewieslik perhaps.

Aiden Metcalfe [2(0)-0]
Out of all on the card, the Crumlin super featherweight looks to be the one currently furthest away from a big fight. Only just back from a long period out, Metcalfe needs to rack up a couple of wins and build up his fitness versus tough and game journeymen.

Conor Cooke [1(1)-0]
Of the ‘MMA mindset’, Cooke will not be one to be content in one-sided fights versus journeymen. The Antrim Town cruiser wants near-immediate meaningful domestic fights and a clash with the similarly-minded Declan Trainor [2(2)-1(1)] is a lovely potential Ulster derby for the very near future.


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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