Sutherland v DeGale – ‘Unlikely’

15 December 2008 – Press Release

Darren Sutherland’s trainer Brian Lawrence believes a potential blockbuster between his charge and Englishman James DeGale will never happen.

Irishman Sutherland, 26, makes his professional debut at Dublin City University on Thursday when he faces Bulgarian Georgi Iliev. DeGale outpointed’Dazzler’ in the Olympic semi-finals, but Sutherland had beaten the Beijing gold medallist four times previously. Both have since turned pro, but Sutherland’s trainer Lawrence believes DeGale will stay away just like Riddick Bowe did from Lennox Lewis after winning the world heavyweight title.

“Lennox stopped Bowe in the 1988 Olympics, and it was such a shame they never fought professionally,” he said.

“Bowe didn’t want to know when he became world champion and famously threw the WBC belt in the bin instead of facing Lennox. I’m not saying DeGale will throw belts in rubbish bins, but I reckon when the chips are down he will come up with excuses to avoid the fight. There will be other challenges and I’m sure when they both finish their careers Darren will have achieved more.”

Sutherland’s promoter Frank Maloney is a little more upbeat on the potential for the fight happening.

“I have been so impressed with Darren I would put the public out of their misery and make the match with DeGale tomorrow,” he beamed.

“Unlike Brian, I think they will meet eventually in what will be one of the biggest fights of all time.”

Rendall Munroe’s European super-bantamweight title defence against Fabrizio Trotta tops the DCU bill which will be televised live in Britain and Ireland by Sky Sports.

Manchester’s Craig Watson (13-2) defends his Commonwealth welterweight title against Adnan Amar (22-1), a protg of Dubliner Brendan Ingle.

A third title bout on the bill sees Jason Booth (30-5) risks his Commonwealth bantamweight crown against Sean Hughes (15-7-1).

Dublin prospect Paul Hyland (12-1) faces Eugene Heagney (7-1) in a local battle where the winner could be lined up to face European bantamweight champion Ian Napa.

Former EBU super-bantamweight champion and Bernard Dunne rival Kiko Martinez (19-1), boxes a six rounder on the undercard. London based Irishman Martin Power (19-3); the former British bantamweight champion faces a tough test against Gary Davies (7-2-1).

Tickets for the big Dublin bill cost 100 Euros and 50 Euros and are available from www.frankmaloney.com, www.ticketmaster.ie. To order from Ireland by phone call 08 18 719300, and from NI 0871 226 1508.

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