Weigh In for "A Fistful of Shamrocks" Boxing Show on March 15th at MSG

Tickets are still available for the “A Fistful of Shamrocks” boxing show at Madison Square Garden’s WaMu Theater on Saturday, March 15, 2008. The 12 bout card, which is being promoted by Celtic Gloves Promotions, is headlined by undefeated junior middleweight 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 10 round main event..

The co-feature pits 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, 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.

A host of boxing notables, including Moore and Wolak, weighed-in on just how appealing this pre-St. Patrick’s Day boxing extravaganza is from both sporting and social standpoints.

James Moore: “I’m feeling really good and just looking forward to the fight. The six weeks of training in the Pocono Mountains went quickly. By the end of the camp, I knocked 4-5 minutes off of my 6 mile runs. I was doing the run in less than 50 minutes. I’ve never been more ready for a fight in my life.”

Pawel Wolak: “I feel great and am already at weight. Today I’ll do a quick workout just to sweat and keep the body active. I have prepared very well. All that is left to do is fight. I’m getting a lot of feedback from the Polish community. There are going to be lots of Polish people at MSG, and they’ll all be going nuts.”

Lou Duva, longtime promoter, manager and trainer: “This card is how boxing used to be in the old days. Putting fighters together from all these different countries shows how strong the sport is all over the world. This is going to be a great show, with lots of excitement.”

Harold Lederman, HBO’s unofficial official: “James Moore can punch, plus he’s young, aggressive and very exciting. The Irish resurgence is sensational. There are a lot of Irish prospects these days, mostly around the middleweight division. It reminds me of the old days, shades of (the enormously popular) Billy Graham.”

Tim Smith: boxing writer, New York Daily News: “The Irish resurgence of boxing has given people something to feel very excited about. Irish boxers are not always safety-first fighters, so that makes them very popular. Nationalistic pride will take you a long way, but you also have to be able to fight. Irish boxers always give all they have, even if it works against them in the long run. That’s why their fans are so loyal to them.”

Bernard Fernandez, Philadelphia Daily News: “The great thing about New York is you can walk five blocks in any direction and eat any ethnic food you desire. On a boxing card like this, it is the same thing. Different rooting interests are built right into the audience. This is what I love most about covering fights in New York. This, especially, is a United Nations type of show.”

Nick Charles, commentator, ShoBox: The New Generation: “I can’t think of anything more exciting than fighting at MSG on St. Patrick’s Day weekend. I would love to experience the electricity in the arena that night, but won’t be able to be there. I’d love to be in the thick of things and feel the fervor. It’s going to be a great night.”

Steve Farhood: commentator, ShoBox: The New Generation: “The amount of energy in the arena on these (pre-St. Patrick’s Day) shows has been tremendous. Everyone is having a good time, everyone’s happy. The ethnic formula has worked in New York City for 80 years because boxing fans love rooting for their own.”

Jill Diamond, WBC female boxing chairperson: “It’s amazing that in a city as big and diverse as New York, so many athletes will be brought together in one place on one night to celebrate such a great sport.”

Peter Wood, onetime New York City Golden Gloves finalist and author of “Confessions of a Fighter: Battling Through the Golden Gloves” and “A Clenched Fist: The Makings of a Golden Gloves Champion”: “This is a very unique card, even by New York and MSG standards. I’m looking forward to it because there is such an array of hungry fighters from around the globe. These bouts are all like little bullion cubes, with lots of flavor and taste. I haven’t been as excited over a fight card in a very long time.”

David Selwyn, manager of female boxers Cristy “Code Red” Nickel, who is fighting on the show, as well as Ronica Jeffrey and flyweight champion Eileen Olszewski: “This is the way boxing was way back when. New York is the melting pot of the world, so this is a fitting tribute to so many ethnic groups. I’m going as the manager of Cristy Nickel, but my heart will also be there as a fan.”

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 14.03.2008

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