Year of the Dragon for heartbreaker Joe Fitzpatrick


Chinese New Year takes place on February 5th and we will usher in the Year of the Pig but, four days later, Irish boxing’s Year of the Dragon will begin at the Ulster Hall.

After over a year out, talented Belfast lightweight Joe Fitzpatrick [8(5)-0] makes his return and is set to “break some hearts” in 2019.

‘The Dragon’ will look to kick-start his career on the MHD ‘A Night To Remember’ card and re-establish himself as Ireland’s premier lightweight prospect.

The Divis southpaw debuted back in 2015 and quickly established a reputation as a genuine lightweight prospect with a host of impressive performances in his early career.

Five knockouts in eight wins and some really eye-catching slick displays made the boxing fraternity sit up and take note.

Always confident, Fitzpatrick had begun to call for progression towards Irish title fights – and even suggested a scrap with stablemate Paul Hyland Jr.

READ: Joe Fitzpatrick willing to fight team-mate for Irish title

However, just as it looked time for the now-24-year-old to kick on the next level he slipped off the radar as quickly as he start beeping on it.

Fitzpatrick hasn’t been seen in a competitive ring since October of 2017 and has become something of a forgotten man, but looks set to remind fight fans what he is about on an increasingly strong ‘Night to Remember’ card where he will box in a six-round contest.

The Commonwealth Games silver medallist joins the likes of Hyland, Tommy McCarthy, Luke Wilton, Mathew Fitzsimons and Cathy McAleer on a card headlined by James Tennyson which also features an Irish title bout between Feargal McCrory and Karl Kelly.

Boxrec also has the MHD fighter penciled in for a March 30th appearance on MHD’s next show – where he will make the step up to eight rounds.

Opponents have yet to be confirmed for either date but, having watched a number of fellow lightweights begin to forge reputations for themselves, Fitzpatrick is keen to get back into the mix.

He outlined how “over the past year or so there has been many lightweights turning over in Ireland trying to make a name for themselves and some have great ability but not the ability of ‘The Dragon’ so I look forward to mixing with some of the best.”

McCrory and Kelly fight for the Irish title that Fitzpatrick vocally craved on the February 9th bill while Naas southpaw Gary Cully hs been extremely outspoken in his disappointment that no Irishman will agree to fight him.

Manager Dunlop promised that “it’s gonna be a big year for Joe Fitzpatrick a few hearts are going to be broken and a few people are not gonna get what they wished for.”

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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: [email protected]