14 January 2010 – By Mark Doyle
Andy Murrays long-awaited clash with Oisin Fagan will headline a fantastic night of boxing at the National Stadium on February 13 on which a staggering four Irish titles on the line.
As well as Murrays lightweight strap, Coleman Barrett will meet Colin Kenna for the vacant heavyweight crown, Anthony Fitzgerald and Lee Murtagh will meet for the super-middleweight title, while featherweight champion Patrick Hyland will defend against Mickey Coveney.
Promoter Brian Peters is overjoyed that he has been able to put together a truly historic card, packed with fights that will unquestionably prove pivotal to the future prospects of each combatant.
“To have four Irish title fights in one night is amazing when you consider that at the start of the last decade we had a five-year period (April 2000 February 2005) without even one Irish title fight,” he said.
“Next months show underlines just how much the sport has grown here over the last five years and the level of talent that’s still emerging through the ranks.
“RT’s support has been crucial to that development and they will be covering this event live as well. I think that underlines their continued commitment to the development of the sport here and the emerging talent coming through the ranks.
“The main event is a real crossroads clash between Andy and Oisin and it’s a fight Irish boxing fans have been talking about for quite a while now.
“Coleman Barrett did brilliantly in the last heavyweight Prizefighter getting to the final. He was winning the final too until he got caught by Audley Harrison so its great to see him in an Irish Heavyweight title fight and to have that title active again.
“Patrick Hyland and Anthony Fitzgerald have both been very impressive of late so there will be a lot of talent on display next month and with Irish titles on the line there’s going to be an awful lot of pride at stake as well.”
For Cavan native Murray, who holds not only the Irish lightweight title but the light-welterweight crown as well, a bout with the all-action and well-travelled Fagan represents the toughest bout of his career to date.
Then, of course, there is the added pressure of headlining a bout on national television for the first time. However, Murray is relishing the opportunity to shine.
“It’s great to headline on RT because it really boosts your profile,” said Murray. “It’s going to be great experience for me and it’s all part of the learning curve as your career progresses.
“It’s a massive chance for me to show people what I can do and hopefully it will be the start of a big year for me.
“I’ve loads of respect for Oisin, we’ve always got on well but we’ll have to put that aside on the night. I’ve had to fight my friends down through the years in the amateurs, it’s just something you get on with and afterwards there’s no hard feelings, it’s just business at the end of the day.
“Oisin’s been in with some of the best and he has all that experience from those big fights he had during his time in the U.S. so I know it’s going to b a very hard night but obviously I’m confident that I can win it.”
Fagan, though, believes that he can breathe new life into his career by inflicting a first professional defeat upon Murray.
“Andy and I have shared quite a few cards together over the last few years and we’ve got to know each other. Hes always been a gentleman and very down to earth so I respect him both inside and outside of the ring,” Gael Force said.
“He’s an exceptional boxer and he’s fundamentally sound, with a great amateur pedigree and a stellar reputation.
“That said, those who have followed my career up to now, know that reputations dont really bother me and I tend to get riled up for the bigger occasions. I never run from anyone and I will walk through walls to get at my opponent.
“I fight for the respect of my countrymen and will go toe-to-toe with anyone in the world, to show them the heart and determination of a true son of Ireland.
“Ive mixed it with the best in the world and have been unlucky at times, but my luck has got to change at some point and I feel that this is my time to shine!”
Tickets for the Yanjing Fight Night priced 30, 40, 50 and 60 are available from Ticketmaster (phone 0818 719 300 or visit ticketmaster.ie) and all usual outlets.
For all the latest visit brianpeterspromotions.com