DONEGAL’S Michael Owen McLaughlin is ready for his toughest career test to date as he tops his first bill in Royale Nightclub, Boston, Massachusetts on Saturday night.
Mclaughlin was initially pencilled in to fight Lee Murtagh for the Irish light middleweight title, which his fellow county man John Hutchinson now fights for in Reading tomorrow, before Murtagh was forced to retire. However the Inishowen man isn’t too despondent stressing American Anthony Chase provides him with a chance to jump the rankings at a weight he is more comfortable at.
“This is without a doubt the most dangerous opponent I’ve face yet but I want these tests now so I can move quickly up the rankings,” McLaughlin told the Inish Times.
“He lost recently but he will be looking at this as his comeback fight and the reports that we have got back about him is that he’s a very dangerous boxer. We wanted an eight round fight but he asked for it to be taken down to six, so I think he has doubts about his fitness and I’m sure he’ll be coming on strong to get it finished early. If I can weather that I think he might blow himself out and with the shape I am in at the moment I’d be confident of taking him in the later rounds.”
McLaughlin, who aslo has a fight lined up in May,still has his eyes on the Irish title, but at welter not light middleweight and has targeted a clash with Dean Byrne for the green strap.
“If I can get a couple more wins at welterweight I’ll hopefully get a crack at one of the high profile Irish welterweights down the line. Dean Byrne is widely considered the number one in the country at that moment and he’s got a great record. He was around the amateur circuit at the same time as me and I feel it’s a fight I could win if I got the chance,” he concluded.