This Saturday, the national stadium in Dublin will host arguably the best card seen on these shores in many years. ‘Clash of the Titans’, the Boxing Ireland & Assassin promotions co-promotion will feature three domestic title fights and some of the best 50-50 matchups that can be made in Irish boxing.
To add to the mix, national broadcaster TG4 will be broadcasting the show live to a nationwide TV audience, which can only help grow not only the sport in Ireland but the fighter’s profiles with the potential to make household names for themselves on the thriving domestic scene.
In the headline bout, former amateur star Eric Donovan 8-0 (4 KO’s) and the exciting ‘Showtime’ Stephen McAfee 5-0-1 (2 KO’s) meet for the vacant Irish featherweight title.
The ever-improving McAfee comes into this fight on a roll having already claimed the Celtic super-featherweight title, and should have a natural size advantage having begun his career up at lightweight.
Donovan meanwhile, had a frustrating 2018 due to injury, with his last bout coming in July. The talented Kildare native has ambitions of claiming a European title so knows he can’t afford to slip up against the dangerous McAfee.
In a real clash of styles and background’s, I think this fight could end up being a war of attrition between two undefeated fighters who leave it all in the ring every time. It certainly has all the ingredients to live up to its headline bout billing.
In the co-main event, the talented Victor Rabei 6-0 (2 KO’s) defends his Celtic light-welterweight belt against the hard-hitting Jake ‘The Wizard’ Hanney 5-1 (4 KO’s).
It’s an intriguing matchup, with Hanney making his return after a two-year break against Rabei, who has cruised to six straight wins without getting out of second gear. However, it could also be a major risk for Rabei if he has underestimated Hanney who carries genuine power and say’s he’s a man rejuvenated and in peak shape for his return this Saturday. Or will it be too much too soon for ‘The Wizard’ as he steps in against the naturally-talented Rabei?
In the third title fight of the evening, the big-punching Allan Phelan 9-3-1 (6 KO’s) meets former amateur standout Aiden Metcalfe 2-0 for the Celtic super-featherweight title. This fight has all the hallmarks of a genuine tear-up, with both fighters happy to stand and trade and go to war.
Keeping the domestic theme going, fan favourite ‘Mighty’ Martin Quinn 2-1 meets former amateur foe ‘The Butcher Boy’ Francy Luzoho 1-0 in what many people are tipping to be the fight of the night. Quinn is looking to rebound following his controversial loss to Karl Kelly in November, while Luzoho will look to build on one of the best debuts seen in a long time when he defeated Sam Jones 6-1 back in October.
One of Ireland’s top prospects Dylan Moran 9-0 (5 KO’s), meets former European title holder Gyorgy Mizsei Jr 25-25-1 in an international welterweight bout.
Also featuring on the bumper card are –
Limerick fan-favourite Graham McCormack 3-0 vs Jade Karam 9-9-2 in what promises to be an entertaining light-middleweight bout
Irish super-bantamweight champion Carl McDonald 5-3 vs David Botos 3-2
Welterweight prospect and Celtic title challenger Keane ‘The Iceman’ McMahon 5-0
Hard-hitting super-middleweight Vladimir Belujsky 5-2-1 features following his narrow defeat to former commonwealth champion David Brophy
Super-featherweight Kerry native Siobhan O’Leary 1-0
Light-middleweight Owen Duffy 3-1
Popular Waterford super-middleweight Craig McCarthy 5-0
Middleweight Cillian Reardon 4-0
And there are also three fighters making their debuts on the card –
Former Irish amateur standout Katelynn Phelan
Kerry light-heavyweight Kevin Cronin
Bray super-bantamweight Sam Carroll
Doors for the much-anticipated show open at 4.30pm with the first bell expected soon after.
*For any fans watching from home, TG4 will stream live coverage on their YouTube channel
https://www.youtube.com/user/TG4 from 5.30pm with live TV coverage from 8.30pm.