01 April 2008 – by Cormac Campbell
April offers the Irish public two more professional boxing bills, with Bernard Dunnes comeback in Castlebarr and the Hylands National Stadium show both providing quality action. But with nothing pencilled in for the summer just yet, it is time to take a look at some of the fights, which may be made in the coming months.
Andrew Murray v Oisin Fagan
There has been talk already that up and coming Cavan man Murray will step up in class against the whirlwind Fagan later this year. Fagan returns to Ireland in the summer and has told Irish-boxing.com that a fight with Murray is one he fancies so it appears the ball is very much in Brian Peters and Murrays court. Current Irish light-welterweight champion Murray has looked impressive compiling an unbeaten record, and the next 12 months could see him climb closer to top of the bill status. A fight with Fagan would definitely appeal to the boxing public so all it all there is a better than average chance of the fight being made.
Likelihood – 75%
Martin Rogan v Scott Belshaw
East v West Belfast. Belshaw v Rogan would be bring in the crowds, perhaps to the Ulster Hall when it reopens in 2009. The fight itself could make for an intriguing clash and would appear relatively straightforward to make. Former Irish amateur champion Rogans career has failed to take off whilst the much touted Belshaw has seen his stock fall after suffering a surprise defeat at the hands of Daniel Peret last time out. So as it stands the bout is something, which could be made. Both fighters would also be grateful for the exposure and with Cork based Cuban Mike Perez also on the domestic scene a round robin of contests could be in store.
Bernard Dunne v Rendall Munroe
Many of us thought that the good times had come to an abrupt end the moment Kiko Martinez KOed Bernard Dunne last summer. But with the Spaniard losing his European title in his first defence to Englishman Munroe, Dunne is back in the frame. Given the Irishmans appeal, Munroe would be keen to take the fight for the sizeable paypacket, whilst Dunne would be confident of regaining his title.
Likelihood – 80%
John Duddy v Kelly Pavlik
Duddys cuts may have delayed his judgement day vs Pavlik, but there is still a strong possibility that the fight will still be made. Duddy sells tickets and given the knock to his reputation following his poor performance vs Walid Smichet, Pavlik and his promoter Bob Arum would see the fight as a lucrative formality. A spin off of such a contest would be that win or lose a bout between Duddy and Andy Lee would take a step closer.
Matthew Macklin v Howard Eastman
The most likely scenario for Macklin, following his victory over Yori Boy Campas would be to tackle another big name on the way down. Eastman would fit this bill for a number of reasons. 1. He is well known. 2. He is respected. 3. Victory would push Macklin up the British, Commonwealth and European rankings.
Andy Lee v Brian Vera
Lee has to beat Vera to put his career back on track. Not to would always leave nagging doubts about the Limerickmans ability to fight on the inside. Although a summer date was initially mooted, it is believed that the bout may not happen. Alternatively, Lee may focus more on Ireland with a crack at the European title not out of the question.
Kevin OHara v Kevin Mitchell
Belfasts Kevin OHara must first defeat Eddie Hyland before even considering such things. And even then he will probably have another fight in the interim to match Mitchells schedule. That said, given the Londoners life and death struggle against Carl Johanesson last time out he is likely to stay at domestic level for another year at least. Talks between the two sides have taken place in the past so it is a fight that could be made.
James Moore v Jamie Moore
A fight between the namesakes would be a classic. New York based James may be looking at a homecoming fight in the near future whilst Mancunian Jamie will be hoping to burst out of the domestic scene. The duo may have other plans but a fight between them would be a thrilling affair.
Paul McCloskey v Colin Lynes
One that has been talked about at great length. McCloskey is planning a short break. Lynes must defend his EBU title away from home against the experienced Gianluca Branco in Italy. Should he pass this test the contest should take place probably at the Kings Hall in late summer or early Autumn. McCloskey may take a warm up fight in the meantime.
Martin Lindsay v John Simpson
Despite going under the radar in Canada, IBF youth champion Lindsay is many insiders tip for a title in 2008 with the British title a likely route. A clash with John Simpson is achievable, perhaps after an eliminator with another contender.
Brian Magee v Dean Francis/Tony Oakey
Former IBO super-middleweight champion Magee has already drawn with Oakey so he should be in line for a shot. That said Oakey must first overcome a resurgent Dean Francis. The Lisburn man should then be in contention.