Murray in for tough night

31 August 2010

European Champion Paul McCloskey and Cavan’s double Irish and former EU Champ Andy Murray share the top spot for the longest unbeaten runs in Irish professional boxing with both men sporting perfect 21-0 pro records stretching back to when they made their debuts at the Kings Hall, Belfast in March of 2005.

And both will fight on the same bill again on the Hunky Dorys Fight Night at The Aura, Letterkenny on Saturday, October 2 when McCloskey defends his title against Scotland’s Barry Morrison – while in the chief support Murray will tackle Johnny Nolasco in a scheduled 10 rounder.

Ahead of the bout Nolasco has warned Murray that he can expect his unbeaten run to be snapped when they clash in Letterkenny and the Dominican Republic dangerman believes that the Cavan fighter has bitten off more than he can chew.

“I don’t know anything about Murray except that he is unbeaten but the reason why he’s unbeaten is that he hasn’t fought anyone on my level yet, claimed Nolasco.

I have been mixing it with the best out there all my career and I’ve ended guys unbeaten records before and that’s what I will be coming to Ireland to do again.

Nolasco sports a record of 18 wins, 4 losses and 4 draws and has been in with some class operators.

His manager Jose Lantigua explained, We live in the era of fighters with impressive, padded records that when it comes down to it often don’t mean anything. Johnny did not have the luxury of that when he turned professional and he was constantly matched the hard way against up and coming prospects. His promoter back then put him against one tough guy after another but he still beat Arturo Quintero (10-0), Israel Perez (8-0), Mario Aguiniga (4-0),Gilberto Sanchez Leon (14-1-1), Ricardo Barajas (22-2-1) and Gabriel Vasquez (7-1). He drew with guys like Israel Perez (8-0), Jesus Vega (9-0-1), Cornelius Lock (9-1) and James Baker (11-1) in their hometowns when in most of those fights he should have been a clear winner.

His defeats have been to good world class fighters like Steven Luevano, Martin Honorio, Jason Litzau and in the case of Honorio and Litzau those defeats were razor thin. People know who Johnny Nolasco is now because of those fights and to be honest it has been tough to get him work because nobody wants to fight him. We had a fight with Marco Antonio Barrera lined up last year for the WBO lightweight title but even a legend like Barrera pulled out when he watched some tape on Johnny and realised what he was up against.

Nolasco just turned 35 last month and he believes that the fight with Murray represents a final opportunity to fulfil the outstanding amateur potential that once saw him marked out as a future world professional champion.

I know that I need a win in this fight to get my career back on track, admitted Nolasco. These last few years have been very frustrating for me because I have had so much bad luck with big fights falling through for reasons totally outside my control. This is my chance to vindicate myself and prove that I still have what it takes to be up there with the best in the world so make no mistake I am coming over to Ireland for just one thing to win. In almost 330 fights as an amateur and pro I have never once been on the canvas and believe me that will not change against Murray. “

Nolasco comes from a boxing family and was one of the Dominican Republic’s best ever amateurs compiling a phenomenal record of 288 wins from his 303 unpaid bouts en route to representing his country at the Olympics.

My family have been steeped in boxing for generations, explained Nolasco. My uncle Pedro Julio Nolasco won a medal at the 1984 Olympics and another uncle of mine, Livio Nolasco fought for the World title as a professional back in the 1970’s while my cousin Lucillo Nolasco was also a well known boxer. I have carried on the family tradition and I enjoyed an excellent amateur career. I went to the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 and I won medals at lots of big international competitions including a Silver medal at the Pan-American games.

However a combination of inactivity, injury and bad luck has ensured that John Nolasco has been unable to capture a World title in the professional ranks although that dream looked within touching distance as recently as last year when he was slated to face Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera for the interim WBO lightweight title.

It makes me angry when I think back on all the bad luck I have had recently. I was supposed to fight Barrera for the title and that fell through, then I was scheduled to go to the Philippines to fight Jimrex Jaca and that fell through as well. I thought my luck was changing when I was matched up with the WBC number three Ali Chebah in June but again it fell through due to problems on his side. It’s been such a tough time for me and it’s made me mad as hell and it’s Andy Murray who will have to pay the price for that.”

The Hunky Dorys Fight Night on October 2 also features Dublin’s unbeaten featherweight prospect, Patrick Hyland, reigning Irish heavyweight champ, Coleman Barrett, Cork based Cuban sensations Alexei Acosta, Mike Perez and Luis Garcia, Mayo’s unbeaten super featherweight Finbarr Eade and the professional debut of Donegal’s own Michael McLaughlin.

Tickets for the Hunky Dorys Fight Night priced from E40 go on sale September 1st from Ticketmaster.ie / 0818 719300, The Aura, Letterkenny: 074 9106422, The Radisson Blu, Letterkenny: 074 9194444, Eurospar, Dungiven: 028 77741245 or Julie, Dungiven: 07745 698372.

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