By Cormac Campbell
First things first – Welcome back. It’s been a while, but hopefully the new irish-boxing.com site and supporters club can offer all Irish boxing fans a quality service in the long term. To some extent our relaunch has been helped with the boom boxing in Ireland is currently enjoying. And this month’s schedule of bouts shows just how much strength in depth there is within the ranks at the moment. From the Olympic Qualifiers in Italy to professional outings for James Moore, Matthew Macklin, Andy Lee and Paul McCloskey, there is an event to catch the eye every week throughout the month. These events include two professional bills in Ireland, first with Matthew Macklin stepping up in class to face the ever-dangerous ex-World Champion Yory Boy Campas on March 22 at the National Stadium. A week later Paul McCloskey dips his toes in to the big league when he tackles another ex champion, Cesar Bazan in Letterkenny. That event will be McCloskey’s first time topping a bill – and to do so just a stone’s throw from his hometown will make it an extra special affair.
We have exclusive audio interviews with both McCloskey and Macklin as they look forward to a new era in their respective careers. We also chat to Dave ‘Boy’ McAuley on his career and the current batch of Irish stars. Michael Carruth doesn’t pull any punches with his opinions on Ireland’s amateurs. James Moore speaks about life in the States and his quest for a title shot in 2008. Cuban heavyweight Mike Perez is featured as our-up-and-comer of the month and we evaluate the future for John Duddy following the serious cuts he received in his clash with Walid Smichet at Madison Square Garden in February. We will also be introducing a new feature relating a boxer’s preparation for a bout. This month’s interviewee is John Kremer, a sports psychologist at Queen’s University Belfast. We also hope to have a regularly updated news section on the site, but we are still ironing out a number of technical glitches – so please be patient. Asides from that all I can say is enjoy the new service and feel free to send feedback to me at [email protected].