EAMONN O’Kane has opened the door for the next batch of Irish middleweight prospects to grab domestic glory by vacating the Irish Middleweight title.
‘King Kane’, who is currently in preparation for an Ocotber 17th IBF World title eliminator against Tureano Johnson set for Madison Square Garden, claimed the strap which was then vacated by Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan by beating Anthony Fitzgerald in a highly entertaining Dundalk-hosted clash back in 2013.
The Dungiven fighter has since climbed up the World rankings with IBF Intercontinental and WBC International title victories and is now just one win away from a shot at the IBF World title and the winner of Gennady Golovkin and David Lemiuex.
O’Kane now believes it’s time to free up a strap he was ‘honoured’ to hold which will alert and excite the likes of Conrad Cummings his Celtic title foe for November 20 Alfredo Meli, Dublin’s Luke Keeler and indeed Golden Boy prospect Jason Quigley.
Kane yesterday released the following statement confirming the decision: “As you will all know by know, I will challenge Tureano Johnson in Madison Square Garden on October 17th for the mandatory position in the IBF world rankings,” said O’Kane.
“Due to this, as of today I will be vacating my Irish Middleweight title that I have proudly held since July 2012.
“Winning the Irish title was and is something that I’m extremely honoured to have been able to achieve. I believe it has played an extremely important part in my career and without it would not be in the position I am in now, which is in touching distance of becoming world champion.
“I look forward to watching the next available contenders challenge for my old title and wish them both the best of luck representing our proud fighting nation. At this time. I would like to thank Mel Crystal and everyone at the Boxing Union Of Ireland for their continued support in my career. Up The Irish!”
In response, the Boxing Union of Ireland thanked O’Kane, saying:
“Eamonn’s bout with Anthony Fitzgerald will go down in as one of the most exciting Irish title bouts in recent history.”
“We wish him all the best in his bout with Tureano Johnson on October 17th and we look forward to seeing him bring back the World title he so richly deserves.”