17 November 2010
Anthony Fitzgerald, like many Irish boxing prospects in attendance for Willie Caseys dramatic European Title victory must have been thinking one thing; I wouldnt mind a bit of this!
For most boxers, ringside in Limerick was perhaps the closest they will ever get to experience a European Title shot but not Fitzgerald. Under the wing of Phil Sutcliffe Fitzy has been transformed into one of Irelands brightest prospects with suggestions from the Dolphil camp hinting at a European Title shot for The Pride within the next year. When Anthony first turned pro we saw the potential straight away, there were a few rough edges alright but hes close to polished and he has been magnificent in the gym lately. We had Kenny Egan over sparring before he left for the states and Fitzy was just excellent said an upbeat Phil Sutcliffe.
His first taste of glory came when he captured the Irish Super-Middleweight Title against Ciaran Healy, two defences later and Fitzgerald takes the leap into the middleweight division where he will contest the WBF Inter-Continental Title in his first headline since turning professional.
Back in March 2009 Fitzgerald was left bitterly disappointed by a third round stoppage against Janis Cernouskis on the undercard of the Bernard Dunne vs. Ricardo Cordoba World Title fight. Fitzgerald returned to the O2 seeking redemption on the undercard of Dunne vs. Poonsawat where he took on Tadas Jonkus. An impressive display served the perfect tonic to Fitzy and he hasnt looked back since. I was left gutted after losing to Cernouskis that night recalls Fitzgerald. Thats boxing though, you get hit in the right spot and you go down and theres nothing you can do. Its how you bounce back from these defeats that make you a winner and I am now much stronger for it.
In boxing terms, that was a lifetime ago. Fast forward almost two years and you find a fighter unbeaten in nine fights and apparently ready for his shot at the big time. When I turned professional Fitzy explains, It wasnt just to make up the numbers; Im in this game to go all the way. I want to be testing myself against the best out there at my weight. I feel that I am much stronger at middleweight and were looking forward to my first title fight at that weight. I have a good team around me and thats so important in this game, their keeping me nice and busy so I couldnt be happier with our progress to be honest.
December 10 at the Basketball arena has been dubbed The Prides Path to Glory by Dolphil Promotions with Anthony The Pride Fitzgerald taking center stage. Fitzgerald is joined by unbeaten Tallaght man Patrick Pajo Hyland, undefeated Cubans Mike The Rebel Perez & Alexei Collado, Christina McMahon, JJ McDonagh, Gavin Prunty, Paddy McDonagh and debutant Noel OBrien.