Boxing


Yanjing Fight Night: Power and Waldron ready for Civil War; Cuban Missile's ready to fire

Domestic rivals Jamie Power and John “The Warrior” Waldron have promised to limit their fighting to the boxing ring ahead of their Irish Light Heavyweight title clash on the Yanjing Fight Night at The University Sports Arena, Limerick on Saturday, May 15th. The bout is one of two Irish title fights on the card headlined by Andy Lee's clash with former former European Champ and Knockout artist Mamadou Thiam while reigning World and European Lightweight Champion Katie Taylor also features in an international amateur contest..

While Power and Waldron have kept their fighting words to a minimum so far the second Irish title decider on the card featuring Michael Sweeney and Ian Tims for the Irish Cruiserweight title has turned in to an uncivil war with both men trading insults in the lead up to the fight.

Popular Limerick man Power however says he won't be engaging in a war of words with Waldron ahead of their title bout. “The Sweeney and Tims fight seems to have developed in to a bit of a grudge match,” said Power. “There has been plenty of talking but myself and John have always got on fine and we'll keep things civil until that first bell rings. Then all hell will break lose!”

The May 15th event will make history in that for the first time ever Limerick will play host to Irish title fights and Power says that he is buzzing at the thought of being crowd Irish Champion in his hometown.

“The fact that the fight's in Limerick and for the Irish title makes it all the more special. I've fought in the States as an amateur, in The O2 in Dublin on a big World title card but to win the Irish title in front of my family and friends in Limerick would undoubtedly be the highlight of my career.

“Training has gone well and I'm working with a nutritionist who has me eating lots of rabbit food and as a result I'm right on the weight! I'm ready to go, in fact I wish the fight was this weekend because I just can't wait to get in there and fight for that Irish title.


“We've never fought before but we have sparred so I know what to expect. We were supposed to meet a few times in the amateurs and there was talk of us fighting in the pro's a few times but I'm delighted now it's finally happening having the Irish title on the line is a massive bonus.

“I'm not going to make any prediction only that as usual anytime I get in the ring I will give it 100% and keep people entertained. We have a good game plan and as long as I stick to that I'm confident I can get the right result.”

Going into the lions den holds no fears for Waldron though and the Mayo native has plenty of experience of taking on Limerick's best in their back yard. “I'm well used to fighting in Limerick,” revealed Waldron. “I fought Andy Lee there in his last fight as an amateur before he turned professional and I also fought on the undercard of Andy's last show there in November.

“That wasn't my best performance if I'm honest. I got the win but I wasn't happy with how I boxed but preparations for this fight have gone very well and I've no doubt I'll be having my hand raised and getting that Irish title belt wrapped around my waist on May 15th.”

A Power – Waldron matchup has been talked about before but is only materialising now and Waldron has rejected any suggestions that he didn't fancy the fight previously. “I was supposed to fight Jamie before but I had to pull out after I broke my nose sparring for the fight,” said the Ballyhaunis native who now resides in Co. Roscommon.

“Some people were suggesting that I pulled out because I didn't want to fight Jamie but that couldn't be further from the truth. It was a genuine injury and I certainly don't have ay problem getting in to the ring with Jamie.

“There isn't a doubt in my mind that I'm going to win this fight. It's going to be a hell of a fight because both of us have the same style and we'll meet in the middle of the ring and have a toe to toe war. Something will have to give and I can guarantee you that it won't be me. Jamie's already lost to one Mayo man when he was beaten by Michael Sweeney and he's about to be beaten by another Mayo man on May 15th.

“For myself and Jamie this will be our World title fight, with the Irish title at stake it makes it a must win fight for both of us because the winner can move on but the loser won't really have anywhere to go. It's funny really because we sparred a few rounds about a year and a half ago and afterwards people were saying to me that the next time you are in the ring together it could be for the Irish title and it's turned out that way.”

The undercard for the Yanjing Fight Night is packed with Irish boxing's rising stars. Undefeated Cavan prospect Andy Murray will be looking to continue his perfect record and follow on from his impressive win over Oisin Fagan in the main event on RTÉ's last Pro Box Live show. The 27-year-old lightweight has 18 straight wins to his name in the pro ranks and is currently rated number 3 in Europe.

Recently crowned Irish Heavyweight Champ Coleman Barrett will also be in action. The Galway native has won all but one of his 12 pro fights to date with his only defeat coming to Olympic Gold medallist and new European Champ Audley Harrison in last year's Prizefighter final.

Another intriguing contest on the bill will see Mullingar's Paddy McDonagh taking a major step up in class as he tackles former Irish Champion and Andy Lee opponent Ciaran Healy in just his third pro fight while the Limerick based Galwegian Alan Donnellon makes his professional debut in a Light Middleweight contest.

Tickets for the Yanjing Fight Night priced €30, €40, €50, €60, €75 and €100 are available from Ticketmaster (phone 0818 719 300 or visit ticketmaster.ie) or locally in Limerick from The University Sports Arena, the George Hotel and the South Court Hotel.


Cuban Missile's ready to fire

Cuban sensations Mike “The Rebel' Perez and Luis “The Lion” Garcia will finally make their ring returns in Limerick on May 15th on the Yanjing Fight Night. The event at the University Sports Arena is headlined by Andy Lee's clash with former European Champ and Knockout artist Mamadou Thiam while reigning World and European Lightweight Champion Katie Taylor features in an international amateur contest.

Cork based Cuban duo Perez and Garcia will be looking to extend their perfect records on the card as they face opponents who will be very familiar to Irish boxing fans. Super Middleweight Garcia takes on former Andy Lee opponent Alex Sipos while heavyweight Perez will face Tomas Mrazek who was last seen in an Irish ring with heavyweight prospect Tyson Fury.

Both Sipos and Mrazek put up very creditable efforts before losing on points to Lee and Fury at The O2 in Dublin last year so they represent decent tests for Perez and Garcia who will both be making their first appearances in over a year.

Despite only having had 5 pro fights the 22-year-old Garcia says he has no problems taking on an experienced foe in Sipos who aside from taking on Lee last year has also fought for the European title in a 30 fight pro career.

“I watched Sipos fight Andy Lee in Dublin and I have seen some of his other fights. He is strong and a good fighter but I believe I will have too much skill for him,” said Garcia. “I have been out of the ring for so long and it has been frustrating for me because I love to fight and put on a show for the fans but I am just happy to have a date and an opponent to focus on now and I will be looking to take all my frustration out on Sipos in Limerick.”

Perez will also be looking to make a big impact in Limerick having fully recovered from a shoulder injury that has kept him out of the ring for over a year. “The shoulder is fine again now and I have had no problems with it,” said Perez.

“I'm looking forward to getting back in the ring and staying busy this year. I sparred Kevin Johnson in Cork recently and had no problems with him and he was just coming off a World title with Vitali Klitschko so I believe I have the talent and the punch power to become the World heavyweight champ.

“I had my second pro fight in Limerick and got a big welcome there. That was a quick night for me, I won by KO in 41 seconds so hopefully I can have another early night this time.”

The Yanjing Fight Night in Limerick will also see two Irish Professional titles up for grabs with local fan favourite Jamie Power clashing with John Waldron for the Irish Light Heavyweight title while Mayo's Michael Sweeney will be out to end Dubliner Ian Tims unbeaten record in a grudge match for the Irish Cruiserweight title. !

Undefeated Cavan star Andy Murray will be looking to continue his perfect record and follow on from his impressive win over Oisin Fagan in the main event on RTÉ's last Pro Box Live show. The 27-year-old lightweight has 18 straight wins to his name in the pro ranks and is currently rated number 3 in Europe.

Recently crowned Irish Heavyweight Champ Coleman Barrett will also be in action. The Galway native has won all but one of his 12 pro fights to date with his only defeat coming to Olympic Gold medallist and new European Champ Audley Harrison in last year's Prizefighter final.

Another intriguing contest on the bill will see Mullingar's Paddy McDonagh taking a major step up in class as he tackles former Irish Champion and Andy Lee opponent Ciaran Healy in just his third pro fight while the Limerick based Galwegian Alan Donnellon makes his professional debut in a Light Middleweight contest.

Tickets for the Yanjing Fight Night priced €30, €40, €50, €60, €75 and €100 are available from Ticketmaster (phone 0818 719 300 or visit ticketmaster.ie) and all usual outlets.

Article posted on 02.05.2010



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