Walstad full of confidence ahead of Dunne showdown

Reidar Walstad is counting down the days to what he believes is his destiny – to rip the European super bantamweight title away from Bernard Dunne. Both men are in the final stages of their preparation for the Hunky Dorys Fight Night at the Point, Dublin on Saturday, June 23rd. However Walstad says he’s unfazed by reports that Dunne has been sparring with former World title challengers ahead of the contest..

The Norwegian, currently ranked number three in the European rankings said, “I have set up training camp in London and I’ve also been sparring with some very good fighters. I’ve sparred a lot of high quality rounds to prepare for this and I’ve worked very hard in the gym. I’m just looking forward to June 23rd now and to battling it out in the ring at The Point and of course winning the European title.”

Walstad has already beaten Dunne having got the better of the Dubliner when they clashed in the European amateur championships in 1998 and he’s in no doubt that he will repeat the result this time around.

“The fact that I have already beaten Bernard gives me great confidence that I will do it again. I know that we are both professionals now but for me Bernard still fights the same way as he did back then. I’ve watched a lot of his fights and I don’t see much difference. He still makes the same mistakes and I will take advantage of those.“

For his part Dunne says he doesn’t remember too much about their first meeting and is only concerned with the result on June 23rd. The champion said, “It was a long time ago and I actually don’t remember that much about the fight to be honest. I do remember Reidar from being one of the top guys on the amateur scene at the time but that fight doesn’t stand out in particular.”

Walstad has his own views on Dunne’s memory lapse. “Maybe he wants to forget about it because if he thinks about it too much it will worry him before our next fight.”

Dunne insists though that the fight is not a revenge mission for him. “It’s not about revenge at all, I certainly don’t look at it like that. That first fight was all a long time ago and what I need to do now is focus on the job at hand just like I would for any other fight.”

That defeat was one of only eleven suffered by Dunne in an amateur career that saw him rack up 119 wins. Dunne’s record in the professional ranks is even more impressive having racked up 23 straight wins since switching codes in 2001.

The fight with Walstad will see Dunne make the second defence of his European super bantamweight title on what promises to be a great night of boxing at the Point.

Also on the bill is former World Champion and Olympic medallist Wayne McCullough with Neil Sinclair, Oisin Fagan, Patrick Hyland and John Timlin also featuring.

The Hunky Dorys Fight Night will also see history made with Jill Emery and Angel McKenzie clashing in the first ever female professional fight to be held in the Republic of Ireland.

Following his Irish debut in March undefeated Polish star Lukasz Wawrzyczek returns to Dublin to take on Belfast’s Ciaran Healy.

Full details of the complete card will be released later this week.

Tickets priced from €60 are available from and Ticketmaster outlets.

Article posted on 11.06.2007

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