Who will be on the February Belfast Boxnation undercard?

Yesterday Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions confirmed that they will return to Belfast for a bumper show at the Waterfront Hall on Saturday February 18th.

So far just one fighter has been confirmed for the Boxnation-aired bill, headliner Jamie Conlan, with more promised to be announced next week.

While we wait however, Irish-Boxing.com takes a look at some of the likely contenders for the card.

Marco McCullough [16(10)-3(2)], who was the eventual headliner of the November Boxnation show at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, is a near certainty for the bill, with the title-chasing featherweight hinting on social media that he will feature. A potential opponent could be Michael Roberts Jr [18(1)-0-1], whom he was intended to face on the November card before the Scottish boxer withdrew with illness. If this fight were to take place, the BBBoC Celtic title could be put on the line.

It seems likely that the James Tennyson [17(13)-2(2)] v Declan Geraghty [14(4)-1(0)] Irish super featherweight title fight will take place on this card. Belfast’s Tenny is due to fight on the MHD bill at the Europa Hotel on February 4th however this now looks unlikely. The bout was due to take place in Scotland in December, but was delayed due to a cut suffered by Tennyson in a warm-up bout on the last Belfast Boxnation card.

Following his bizarre debut in November, double Olympic bronze medalist Paddy Barnes [1(0)-0] looks set to feature again. The Ardoyne flyweight has stressed that he wants to be fast-tracked, and has previously spoken of how a fight with a recent world title challenger is in the pipeline.

MGM light welters Tyrone McKenna [12(4)-0-1] and Phil Sutcliffe Jr [11(7)-1(0)] both enjoyed career-best wins on the Titanic Exhibition Centre card. McKenna defeated Sean Creagh for the BUI Celtic belt while Sutcliffe ground out a victory over Chris Jenkins. The two occupy the #1 and #2 spots in the Irish rankings at the moment, and the show in seven weeks time is the perfect opportunity for them to fight for the Irish title last held by Frankie Gavin.

Lewis Crocker may finally make his debut on the card. The huge-punching welter was due to begin his pro career on the November show, only to be forced off the bill at late notice following a troublesome nose injury which has now been surgically repaired.

While the last Belfast card overlapped with their bedding-in period with new trainer Barry Smith, the three Upton Brothers should be now ready to have a big Belfast homecoming and this could come on February 18th

Despite his wedding taking place the following morning, well-supported light heavyweight Steven Ward [2(0)-0] is also open to appearing on the bill. The MGM fighter is trained in Salford by Oliver Harrison and there are high hopes for him in the pro game.

With demand growing for an Irish heavyweight title clash, we could see Dublin’s Sean Turner [9(6)-0] on the card in an eight-rounder to gain title eligibility in order to facilitate a fight with MGM stable mate Con Sheehan [4(1)-0] during the Summer. Sheehan himself may also feature in the step-up fight that his team had unsuccessful sought in November.

With Tennyson v Geraghty most likely on the bill, it would make sense to also place Dunshaughlin super featherweight Jono Carroll [13(1)-0] on the card to perhaps build a potential fight with the winner

Two Belfast boys who didn’t feature on the last show, but could well feature on this one are Warren-promoted super feather Ciaran McVarnock [6(1)-0-1], and MGM-managed middle Alfredo Meli [12(3)-0-1]

With just two weeks between the cards, it is unlikely that we see any others from the MHD stable appear on the card. However, if there is to be any man who would do both it would be Warren-promoted lightweight Joe Fitzpatrick [6(4)-0].

Other fighters who appeared on the November card that could feature again include Ballinrobe cruiser Gary Sweeney [3(3)-0], and Stephen Ormond [23(12)-3(1)] who would be a name recognisable to British fight fans. Clondalkin cruiser Ian Tims [12(3)-3(2)] could also feature, especially if it is MGM’s intention to build a fight between him and Scottish slugger Stephen Simmons.

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