The Summer may be over, but for boxing fans the calendar is starting to heat up and many Irish fighters are due to step through the ropes this coming month. In the first of a new series, irish-boxing.com takes a look at the upcoming month and all the Irish fighters scheduled to take to the ring.
Starting us off on September 5th is Dublin middleweight Luke Keeler [8(5)-1(0)], who makes his Matchroom debut in Leeds on the undercard of Josh Warrington’s Commonwealth title defence. Keeler will be hoping to impress and make a fast start to life as a Matchroom prospect. ‘Cool Hand Luke’ will face ‘Daddy Cool’ Jason Ball [9(5)-19(3)-1] over six rounds.
On the same night in London’s York Hall, Belfast welterweight Matthew Wilton [10(3)-0] makes his return to the ring after a year out with a four rounder against Dan Carr [3(2)-75(1)-2]. Also on the bill, cruiserweight Moses Matovu [5(0)-60(6)-4] will show yet another prospect the ropes.
Fans of the highly-decorated Irish amateur team can get their fix between September 9th and 15th when a six-strong squad travel to Poland for the Feliks Stamm Muli-Nations Tournament. Michael O’Reilly, Brendan Irvine, and Sean McComb will all get crucial preparation for October’s World Championships, while Paddy Barnes will hop up in weight to flyweight for the meet. At 64kg, Wayne Kelly will participate in his first senior international tournament. Cavan boxer Ceire Smith is the teams sole female representative.
September 12th sees the return of the Malta Boxing Commission at Belfast’s Devenish. Veteran middleweight Tommy Tolan [8(4)-16(8)-1] will headline in a ten round contest. Chief support is an all-Irish light heavyweight clash between Belfast’s Joe Hillerby [10(2)-3(2)] and Mayo’s John Waldron [5(2)-11(7)] over ten rounds. In a battle of the middleweight journeymen, Phillip Townley [1(0)-10(2)] takes on Marty Kayes [0-17(3)] in an eight rounder. There is also a Belfast lightweight derby between Mark Morris [2(1)-1(1)] and debutant Barry McGuigan (No not that one). The card is rounded off by debuts for light middleweight Conor Doherty, light heavyweight Padraigh McCrory, and former MMA star Decky Dalton – as well as returns to the ring for novices Darren Mangan (light welterweight 1(0)-0) and Matthew Fitzsimons (super featherweight 1(1)-0).
On the same night in Liverpool, on the undercard of Roy Jones Jr no less, Dublin light middleweight Bernard Roe makes his debut against dangerous Latvian, Zaurs Sadihovs [4(4)-3(1)].
Across in Preston, MGM welterweight duo Jake Hanney [4(4)-0] and Sean Creagh [1(0)-0] will continue their development at the Evoque Nightclub venue. Also on this card is big-punching super middleweight Mark Heffron [10(8)-0]. The Gary Hyde-managed fighter is looking to push towards European title level in the very near future.
Finally, in Birmingham, two more MGM fighters, light middleweights Anto Fitzgerald [18(4)-7(2)] and Craig O’Brien [2(0)-0] will get the rounds in at Villa Park.
On Tuesday September 15th, Monaghan’s Christina McMahon [7(3)-0] will jump up in weight to face Jamaican Alicia Ashley [22(4)-10(0)-1] in New York. ‘Lightning’ McMahon has elected not to defend her recently won WBC interim bantamweight title and instead will take on a less financially-lucrative, short-notice fight, with the four-time world champ for the WBC super bantamweight title
In the Antipodes, Ballaghaderreen welterweight Ollie Towey [1(0)-1(1)] will return to the ring after over two years on September 18th. The Roscomman man takes on debutant Michael Addison at Metro City in Western Australia.
On September 19th the Upton Brothers will take over the York Hall. Light welterweight Anthony [9(4)-0], and light middleweights Pauly [8(1)-0] and Sonny [7(4)-2(1)] will all trade leather in six round fights. Also on the card, Belfast flyweight Luke Wilton [16(7)-4(1)-1], who is in line for a shot at the vacant British title, returns to the ring against the durable Brett Fidoe [4(3)-21(0)-2] over four rounds. Finally, Northern journeymen Moses Matovu and Alec Bazza [0-7(2)-1] will man the opposition corner against prospects.
On the same night, in the exotic climbs of South Africa, Galway’s Gary ‘The Gallant’ Sweeney makes his professional debut. The young cruiserweight faces local boxer Jean Lutete [0-1(0)] at the Emperor’s Palace Casino in Gauteng.
On September 26th Australian-based Kildare man Dennis Hogan [22(7)-0-1] will take on Jack Culcay [20(10)-1(0)] in Germany for the WBA interim light middleweight title. If Hurrican Hogan can defeat the former amateur world champion in Berlin he will put himself in line for a shot at Erislandy Lara’s world title.
This night will also see Man v Machine at the Wembley Arena. Londoner Frank Buglioni [16(13)-1(1)-1], who is trained by Paschal Collins in Dublin’s Celtic Warrior’s Gym, will face Russian phenomenon Fedor Chudinov [13(10)-0] for the WBA super middleweight title. On the undercard, Dublin lightweight Jamie Kavanagh [18(9)-1(1)-1] makes his European return after a career spent stateside with Golden Boy Promotions.