Snatch and Grab: Late replacement Thompson wants Huaghian’s Irish title

Ballyclare’s Willie Thompson says he will rip the Irish welterweight title away from Stephen Haughian on Saturday June 25 at Craigavon.

Thompson has taken the fight at two weeks notice after Jeff Thomas pulled out but he believes he can claim his first title as a professional.

“I’ll give it everything I can, I know I can win and that would really get my career going,” said Thompson, who trains in Breen’s Gym alongside Lurghan man Haughian.

The 31-year-old has come up short against former world title challenger Michael Jennings and only lost on points to Scotland’s Kris Carslaw in a British Masters title fight last time out.

Haughian will have John Breen in his corner, while former WBU champion Eamonn Magee is to be in Thompson’s corner.

The two men have sparred together quite a lot but all friendship will be put to one side as they go for the prize of Irish champion.

Both men hope that victory will drive them on towards a Celtic title shot later in the year.

Looking ahead to the fight Thompson said:“We’re both good friends but that will be put to one side, you have to block it out.

“It will come down to who has the biggest heart and I have a very, very big heart. I think I’ll break his heart.

“It’s a great opportunity for me. It’s only at two weeks notice but I’ll be ready. I’ve already been training for four weeks. To win it would mean a lot to me.”

The exciting show, promoted by new promoter David Murphy, will also feature hot flyweight prospect Jamie Conlan and the clash of the debutants, Eddie Nesbitt and Marc McCullough.

Also on the bill is Commonwealth Games gold medallist Eamonn O’Kane against Belfast man Tommy Tolan.

O’Kane, who won in the first round on his debut, will hoping for another exciting win in his first fight at home as a professional.

Tickets: Ticketmaster.ie

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