Despite returning to winning ways against Felix Machado in Castlebar in April Bernard Dunne admits there’s something missing at the moment – his European title belt. The Dubliner is back in action in his native city on July 12th when he meets Argentina’s Damian Marchiano in the Hunky Dorys Fight Night headline bout at the National Stadium..
Dunne is hopeful that an impressive win over Marchiano will take him a step closer to a fight with the man who now holds his old European Super Bantamweight title belt – England’s Rendall Munroe.
“I want my old title back,” said Dunne before adding, “I hear Munroe's not all that keen on giving me an opportunity so we might have to just try and force his hand by waiting for the EBU to make me his mandatory challenger.”
Before that though Dunne has to deal with the challenge posed by Marchiano at the National Stadium. The Neilstown native admits he’s been impressed by what he’s seen of his South American foe. “I’ve watched a DVD of him and he’s a very aggressive fighter. He likes to press the action and is constantly on the front foot. He likes to drag the other guy into his kind of fight.”
The 28-year-old Argentinean has a record of 15 wins, 4 losses and a draw and Dunne says a closer look at his record reveals his quality. “He’s mixed in very good company and there’s no shame in losing to the guys he has lost to.
“Abner Mares is very highly rated and one of the big up and coming stars in the U.S. Last time out he lost to Silence Mabuza for the IBO title but for me Mabuza is probably the best bantamweight in the world right now and certainly the best puncher in that weight division.”
Dunne and trainer Harry Hawkins are currently putting the finishing touches to preparations for the fight after a two month training camp in Belfast. The Dubliner insists he’s happy to remain at super bantamweight despite this fight being agreed at a catch weight of 2 pounds above the 8 stone 10 pounds super bantamweight limit.
“I suppose there will always be options at featherweight but super bantamweight is where I’m most comfortable. This fight is a non title fight so it’s been made at a catch weight but super bantam is where I see my future. At the moment I’m just buzzing to be back fighting regularly again and I’m really looking forward to getting backto the National Stadium and putting in a good performance.”
The undercard features a pair of Irish title fights as Jim Rock returns in a historic bid to become a four weight Irish Champion against Jonjo Finnegan while Cavan’s Andrew Murray bids for his second Irish title against current Lightweight champ Peter McDonagh.
The card also features Dubliners Oisin Fagan, Ian Tims and Eugene Heagney and the anticipated return of big punching Belfastman Darren Corbett.
Tickets for the Hunky Dorys Fight Night priced from €50 are available from Ticketmaster.ie and all usual outlets.