A Fistful of Shamrocks - Press Conference Recap

The final press conference for the pre-St. Patrick’s Day Madison Square Garden extravaganza called “A Fistful of Shamrocks” was held today, March 10th, at Jack Demsey’s Irish pub on East 33rd Street in midtown Manhattan. The show is being promoted by the newly created Celtic Ropes Promotions (

The 10 round main event features undefeated James Moore, 14-0 (10 KOS), a native of County Wicklow, Ireland, who fights out of Queens. He is facing the seasoned veteran and former world title challenger J.C. Candelo, 27-9-4 (18 KOS), of Colombia.

In the co-feature, New York’s other undefeated junior middleweight sensation Pawel “Raging Bull” Wolak, 19-0 (13 KOS), a native of Debica, Poland, who resides in Arlington, New Jersey, will square off against Dupre “Total Package” Strickland, 18-2-1 (7 KOS), of Shreveport, Louisiana.

Also featured will be lightweight Oisin Fagan, 20-5 (15 KOS), of Oklahoma City via Dublin; super middleweight Simon “Slick Fighting Irish” O’Donnell, 5-1 (2 KOS) of County Galway, Ireland; London junior welterweight Steve O’Meara, who will be making his pro debut; featherweight Jae Sung Lee, 8-1 (5 KOS), of Hanam, Korea; bantamweight Khabir Suleymanov, 2-0 (1 KO), of Ukraine; featherweight Joe Rosa, 1-2-1, of Puerto Rico; welterweight Luis Ruiz, 2-0, of Puebla, Mexico; welterweight Martin Wright, 4-0-1, of Brooklyn; and middleweight Bryant Pappas, 5-0 (5 KOS), a hard-punching Yonkers, New York, police officer.

A special junior middleweight female attraction features Cristy “Code Red” Nickel, 7-5 (4 KOS), of New York, vs. Oliva Fonseca, 1-1-2 (1 KO) of Philadelphia. Nickel, who counts Katie Couric among her A-list of clients, was recently named one of the top personal trainers in New York by Allure magazine.

Other luminaries in attendance included New York State Athletic Commissioner Ron Scott Stevens; longtime promoters and trainers Lou Duva and Don Elbaum; and matchmaker Bruce Silverglade.

Here’s what everyone had to say:

James Moore: “I could have taken an easier fight, but I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to just knock someone out and not learn anything. I need to take the right steps at the right time, and that’s what this fight against Candelo is about. I can’t wait to show everyone what I’m made of.”

Harry Keitt, trainer of James Moore: “We took no shortcuts because we took this fight very seriously. James is in tremendous shape. I wish Pawel luck, but I have the future champion in James Moore.”

Pawel Wolak: “I train right, not just hard. I stay healthy and eat natural. I’m even reading books on nutrition. My full potential is still two years off, but I am getting stronger and more ready in each fight.”

Patrick Ford, two-time featherweight title challenger and trainer of Wolak: “People said Pawel won’t go anywhere because he’s a white guy. Well, that’s the end of that conversation. Pawel is a great fighter because he comes to fight, not to dance or box. Once the bell rings, he never stops punching.”

Ivan Edwards, manager of Wolak: “Pawel does whatever it takes to win: knees, elbows, etc. When we started working together, he told me he had four dreams: to fight in Atlantic City, Poland, MSG and Chicago, where there are lots of Polish fans. On March 15th he will have accomplished three of them. All that is left is fighting in Chicago.”

Cristy Nickel: “Thank you to Celtic Gloves for allowing me to showcase my talents at MSG, which is the place to be on March 15th. I’m thrilled to be part of such a great show.”

Oliva Fonseca: “I’m honored to be fighting in New York, at MSG, against Cristy Nickel. I’ve heard she is a very good fighter.”

Jae Sung Lee: (through interpreter Pearl Kim): “I am young and passionate and honored to fight in New York and at MSG. My preparation is going well. I want to prove something in America.”

Ron Scott Stevens: “I commend Celtic Gloves and am very proud of the shows they’ve been doing and how much they respect the rules and regulations.”

Lou Duva: “This is the way to do things, with all of these different nationalities. Celtic Gloves should be commended for putting on this show. You put on a show like this and people will talk about it for a long time.”

Don Elbaum: “This is an incredible fight card because James and Pawel are exciting and honest boxing prospects. Ireland and Poland are very proud of them. We will see them both knocking on the door for world titles very soon.”

In addition to boxing, live Irish music will be performed by the band “Big Girl’s Blouse.”

Door open at 6:30 P.M. and the fights will begin at 7:00 P.M. Tickets, which range from $400 to $50, can be purchased through Ticketmaster at 866-448-7849 or by calling Celtic Gloves at 917-559-8467 or Gleason’s Gym at 718-797-2872.

Article posted on 10.03.2008

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