12 December 2010 – Jonny Stapleton
Irish super middleweight champion Anthony Fitzgerald netted the WBF Intercontinental middleweight title with victory over Englands Kevin Hammond in the National Basketball Arena last Friday night.
And after successfully manoeuvring down a weight class with a points win that sees him graduate beyond domestic level, the Dubliner is looking to propel himself up the international rankings in 2011.
Fitzgerald, who topped what turned out to be a very entertaining bill, bossed the fight from start to finish registering an unanimous decision over the former BBBofC Midlands Area title challenger.
Now having finished a progressive 2010 with another win the ever improving Pride wants to join Andy Lee, John Duddy and Mathew Macklin by becoming a renowned Irish middleweight.
Indeed the inner city pugilist once again called out Derry native John Duddy after his title win.
This win is a great way to end the year, Fitzgerald explained. Next year we hope John Duddy will fight me. That is a fight I really want. Who doesnt want to test themselves against the best.
Middleweight is where I belong and I will be staying at this weight for good. Hammond is a tough lad it was great to be in there wit him and to defeat him, he added.
Meanwhile Wild Cards Dean Byrne showed just why he can boast fans of Freddie Roachs calibre with a classy points win over a tough Sergejs Volodins in the chief support bout.
Christina McMahon and debutant Chris OBrien also registered a points win on the Dolphil promoted under-card. While Gavin Prunty, JJ McDonagh and Robbie Long on the other hand stopped their opponents before the final bell.
Heavyweight Paddy Ward, however lost in his first pro outing. Elsewhere Matthew Macklin held onto to his European middleweight title despite a below par performance against Spaniard Ruben Varon in Liverpool on Saturday.
Macklin just about remained on course for a 2011 world title tilt with a less than impressive unanimous points win.
Mack the Knife suffered a bad cut around the left eye and struggled to produce his best form.
One Irish fighter who did make a positive impression over the weekend was Irelands Golden Boy Jamie Kavanagh.
The 19-year-old light-welterweight took the short route to victory stopping Jacob Thornton within just 44 seconds of his fourth professional bout on the under-card of Amir Khans WBA world title defence.