22 May 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
Anthony Fitzgerald jetted off to the Ukraine over the weekend to see if indeed the sky is the limit for his boxing career.
The EBA middleweight champion undergoes a form of world title acid test when as spars IBO World champion Avtandil Khurtsidze (24-2).The WBA world number 11 has been drafted into help Khurtsidze prepare for his first defence against Columbian Dionisio Miranda (21-6) on the 11th of June in the Sports Palace in Kiev.
The Irish super middleweight champion claims he will use the sessions in the Ukrainian capital to see if he is ready to move to the next level and progress to European and eventually world level. The Irish super middleweight and WBF Inter continental middleweight strap holder also stressed that if Khurtsidze does emerge from his Columbian collision unscathed and with the world title intact he would like a world title tilt. Fitzgerald revealed he was initially due to fight the Ukrainian for the EBA title, but Khurtsidze vacated paving the way for Fitzgerald and Affif Belghechams controversial bout.
The Dolphil fighter was unsure what weather to pack for but knows exactly what to expect in the ring.
He is a world champion. So he represents what world level is like. I am delighted they contacted us and asked me to come over. I look at this as a great experience. It gives me the chance to see if I am ready to step up a level. I was meant to fight him already but he vacated the EBA belt. He used this belt as a stepping stone to bigger things so why cant I. If he defends his title successful maybe I can challenge him.
Dolphils Dan Halpin confirmed Khurtsidze did request Fitzgeralds presence in his camp, but also confirmed their was nothing in the pipeline for the Crumlin gym fighter.
They contacted us and asked for Fitzy and Fitzy was never going to say no. He is gone out there and its a big chance for him to impress and to see if he is ready to step it up a level. There is nothing in the pipeline as yet for Anthony, but we will sit down soon to discuss the next step. Willie Casey is away on holiday at present. When he gets back we will start a plan of action for both fighters, Halpin said.