Young James Power calls for Cork fight card for Irish debut


Ireland’s youngest pro fighter has called for professional boxing to return to his native Cork.

James Power finally turned 18 earlier this month and is now eligible to take out a Boxing Union of Ireland licence and fight in this country having racked up a 4(4)-0 record as a 17 year old in Mexico, Hungary, and Slovakia.

The Dripsey lightweight is advised by Andy O’Neill and Conor Slater and has attracted much attention since turning pro at such a young age.

Power, who is currently studying for his Leaving Certificate exams this June, will fight in Ireland later this year and looks in line to feature on any future TG4-aired shows. The Pete Taylor-trained pressure fighter would like at least one of these to take place in his home county.

The teenage talent made the plea on social media, stating that “I think it’s about time Cork got its chance to host a fight night and it would be a dream come true if my Irish debut was in my home town!”

“I don’t see why other Cork lads aren’t screaming for this with me. I know a lot of the talented fighters from all over Ireland would love to come down and fight in front of a Cork crowd, but there’s enough local lads to fill up the main card: Myself, Mike Perez, Noely Murphy, Vladimir Belujsky, Spike O’Sullivan.”

“I know that if it happens it’ll be a night to remember!”

With Perez and O’Sullivan operating at the top echelons, it may prove hard for them to fight in the Rebel County but, as Power states, there are plenty of boxers that could populate such a card.

Alongside his suggestions, there is also the likes of Thomas McCarthy and Dean O’Connell who are awaiting debuts, game away fighters Colin O’Donovan and Jade Karam, and punchers from neighbouring counties such as Siobhán O’Leary, Kevin Cronin, and Graham McCormack.


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A PRO BOXING EVENT IN CORK ❤️. I’ve asked for this already, but I’m pleading for it now ! – I think it’s about time Cork got its chance to host a Fight Night and it would be a dream come true if my Irish debut was in my hometown !! – I don’t see why other Cork lads aren’t screaming for this with me… I know a lot of the talented fighters from all over Ireland would love to come down and fight infront of a Cork crowd, but there’s enough local lads to fill up the main card: Myself, @mike_perez_official , @teamnoely , @vladimirbelujsky , @garyspikeosullivan … I know that if it happens it’ll be a night to remember !! – Anyone that can or will help me out, thank you. You can share this post on your story *Tag Me, mention a whole load of people in the comments, or get your Granny to light a candle ️. Everything will help. – The way I’m looking at this is, the more people that see this post, the better the chance of it actually happening is. You never know who it might come across & It just might happen .

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Pro boxing in Cork enjoyed a resurgence towards the end of the last decade with eight shows in just over three years ran by Brian Peters, Gary Hyde, and Paschal Collins. However, it is now almost nine years since the last bill on Leeside.

Last year there was some excitement when it looked like there was a possibility that Katie Taylor could have her Irish homecoming in the city.

First promoter Eddie Hearn revealed that he was exploring a fight at an unnamed Cork stadium before Sky Sports Head of Boxing Adam Smith outlined his dream of a family festival weekend featuring a Taylor fight as the centrepiece.

However, since this talk, Taylor’s future has been fairly firmly locked in to the U.S. East Coast and she will fight Delfine Persoon for the undisputed lightweight crown in June at the Madison Square Garden Arena before a mooted headline fight in The Theater versus controversial Puerto Rican seven-weight champ Amanda Serrano.

Back home, a card featuring Power would, obviously, be smaller scale than a Taylor and Matchroom extravaganza.

The last batch of bills in Cork took place across the Neptune Stadium, the City Hall, and the Silver Springs Hotel.

In 2018 boxing outside of Dublin and Belfast proved extremely successful, with atmospheric shows with huge local support taking place in Castlebar and Waterford – and a card in Ireland’s third-biggest city seems to be a good idea.

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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: [email protected]