Irish Boxing: Carl Frampton; Stephen Haughian; Belfast Boxing

Carl Frampton believes he is the best super-bantamweight in Ireland and would jump at the chance to prove it. The unbeaten 23-year-old Belfast prospect tops a bill for the first time on September 18 when he takes on three-time European title challenger Yuriy Voronin at the Ulster Hall. And Frampton believes he will put on a performance that will convince the critics that he is the best super-bantam in Ireland – ahead of Irish and EU champion Paulie Hyland and Prizefighter winner Willie Casey..

With the vacant European super-bantamweight title fight between Spain’s Kiko Martinez and Armenia’s Arsen Martirosyan taking place in Dublin on September 11, there has been considerable speculation that either Limerick native Casey or Dubliner Hyland will receive an immediate shot at the new champion. And whilst Frampton acknowledges that he must first earn a higher ranking to secure a European title fight, he believes he is already good enough to win the title.

“Of course, Id like to be in that mix - I believe that right now,” he said.

“If you put me in the ring with them, I could beat any other super-bantamweight in Ireland. The boys are higher up the rankings and they are entitled to be there because they have had more fights and more wins than me, but if I got offered to fight them right now I would be confident of beating them.”

That said, ‘The Jackel’ would not foresee match-ups with Hyland and Casey as being easy nights at the office.

“Hyland has a different style to Casey and Martinez but I believe I could handle that. I have more power than Paulie but he is a very good boxer and he is dangerous. Willie is a bit more raw – he has improved a lot under (coach) Phil Sutcliffe but I believe I have the tools to outbox and outpunch him. He is a big puncher, but I hit harder.”

This is a view shared by Barry McGuigan, who promotes September 18’s Setanta Sports televised card.

“I’m not worried about Willie Casey and I’m not worried about Paulie Hyland,” McGuigan said.

“I think Carl is capable of beating Kiko Martinez in a year or less. When he is boxing eight rounds then doing ten or twelve rounds is nothing. The difference is only in your head. I know he is capable of it and in less than a year he will be breathing down these guys necks.”

McGuigan also confirmed opponents for all boxers on the card.

“Out of the six fights, five of them are top class pick-em fights. They are all good, tough fights and the fans will go home happy, that’s for sure.”

Confirmed bill for September 18, Ulster Hall show.

Carl Frampton vs Yuriy Voronin
Jamie Conlan vs Hyusein Hyuseinov
Stephen Haughian vs Dee Mitchell
Troy James vs Pavels Senkovs
Ryan Greene vs Matt Scriven
Chris Keane vs Tayar Mehmed

A limited number of ticket are still available, priced £55, £45, £35 and £30 from the Box Office on 028 90334455. For more information log on to

Haughian returns against Mitchell

Irish welterweight champion Stephen Haughian is looking to bounce back from title heartache with a victory over Birmingham’s Dee Mitchell on Barry McGuigan’s Ulster Hall bill on September 18. The Lurgan welterweight dropped a ten-round points decision to slippery Scotsman Kevin McIntyre at the King’s Hall in June for the Celtic crown but believes staying active will be the key to getting back into the title mix.

“It’s good to get back out again after the McIntyre fight and hopefully I can stay a bit busier from now on,” admitted the 25-year-old, who meets Mitchell over six rounds. I’m working hard in John Breen’s gym to get back on form and I just didn’t feel sharp enough in my last bout, probably due to being out of the ring for so long. I’ve been doing some good work back at home as well as travelling to Belfast to train with John and getting good sparring as usual. With the likes of Paul McCloskey, Willie Thompson and Michael McLaughlin in the gym I am always guaranteed good sparring.”

Haughian is desperate to recapture the same level of performance that saw him claim the Irish title in February 2009 when he stopped Cork veteran Billy Walsh in three rounds. Standing in his way this time is 33-year-old Mitchell who holds a 9-8 record and has been in with good names like Prince Arron, Jack Arnfield and Pat McAleese during a four-year career. He was scheduled to meet Henry Coyle in Castlebar two years ago but the fight fell through at the last minute.

“Dee has mixed mostly at light-middleweight and is coming down to welterweight so is likely to be strong,” added Haughian. “I believe he is a bit of a switch-hitter too so the quality southpaw sparring I’m be getting will be an advantage. Mitchell is a dangerous opponent, he holds a win over Martin Concepcion, and I’ll have to be focused. A good win can get the ball rolling again and hopefully I can stay active,”

With tickets for the September 18 card nearly sold out, Haughian is expecting his first competitive start at the Bedford Street venue to be a memorable one.

“I’m expecting a good following to come down from Lurgan and the atmosphere will be good. I was supposed to make my professional debut in the Ulster Hall but I ended up boxing Paul McCloskey in an exhibition that night, so it will be a good experience for me fighting there for real.”

September 18’s Setanta televised card is topped by Carl Frampton’s clash with Yuriy Voronin. Jamie Conlan, Ryan Greene, Troy James and Chris Keane also feature. However, Limerick’s Willie ‘Big Bang’ Casey has withdrawn from the card and will now attempt to chase down a European super-bantamweight title fight.

A limited number of ticket are still available, priced £55, £45, £35 and £30 from the Box Office on 028 90334455. For more information log on to

Liam Neeson - Belfast Boxing Ring

Hollywood star Liam Neeson officially launched a new exhibition at Belfast City Hall yesterday, celebrating the history of boxing in the city.

Neeson, whose big screen hits include Schindler’s List, Michael Collins, Batman Begins, Narnia and Clash Of The Titans, also became a patron of a new initiative known as The Belfast Boxing Ring – a committee chaired by former Belfast Lord Mayor Alex Maskey and set up with the aim of commissioning a series of statues and plaques recognising the sport’s contribution to Belfast.

Neeson, himself a former amateur boxer who fought for the Ballymena All-Saints Club, also took the opportunity to have his picture taken with Belfast fight legend Freddie Gilroy. Over 40 years ago as a young amateur fighter Neeson was photographed meeting his hero when Gilroy reigned as British Champion.

Ballymena-born Neeson, 58, cut the ribbon at the launch of the Belfast Boxing Ring’s exhibition which will show off some never-seen-before images of boxers and memorable moments in Belfast’s boxing history.

Neeson said: “It is an honour to be invited to become a patron of Belfast Boxing Ring and I support the aim of the committee to have the sport recognised in the city. Boxing has played such an important role in the development of Belfast throughout difficult times and has a huge part to play in the future.”

Boxing legend Freddie Gilroy said: “It’s an honour to have met Liam after all these years. I believe it was 47 years ago that Liam and I were pictured together and now we have a then and now picture which I will treasure. Liam is a wonderful man.”
The Belfast Boxing Ring is an initiative recognised by Belfast City Council and formed by ex-Lord Mayor of the city, Alex Maskey, who is also a former amateur boxer.

The Belfast Boxing Ring Committee includes Mr Harry Doherty, Mr Eamon McAuley, Mr Barry Flynn, Mr Alex McGreevy and Mr David Larmour.

Neeson met with the committee at Belfast City Hall yesterday to confirm his patronage of the Belfast Boxing Ring.

Alex Maskey, who as an amateur boxer shared fight cards with Neeson, said: “The story of Belfast would not be complete without recognising the huge contribution made to the life of the city by all those involved in boxing.

“The achievements of our boxing fraternity have been legendary and continue to provide us with untold enjoyment combined with a great sense of pride.

“We are rightly proud of the rich contribution boxing has made to the sporting, cultural, and community wellbeing of our city. Belfast Boxing Ring will celebrate and pay tribute to those past and present by commissioning a series of statues and plaques to be erected around our city.”

The Belfast Boxing Ring exhibition opens to the public on Tuesday, September 7 and at a reception tomorrow (Monday, September 6) President of the Irish Olympic Council Pat Hickey, Belfast Lord Mayor Pat Convery, Sports Minister Nelson McCausland and a host of Belfast boxing legends were in attendance.

Belfast Boxing Ring Exhibition Launched
Belfast City Hall, September 6, 2010

Pat Hickey, the President of the Irish Olympic Council and President of the European Olympic Council, Belfast Lord Mayor Pat Convery and Sports Minister Nelson McCausland and Dame Mary Peters were on hand to launch a boxing exhibition at Belfast City Hall last night.

The exhibition, capturing images of boxing greats from Belfast, was launched to raise awareness of Belfast Boxing Ring – a committee set up with the aim of commissioning a series of statues and plaques of Belfast boxing legends throughout the city.
The exhibition is open to the public from today (Tuesday, Sept 8) and runs until September 27. Rising star Ryan Burnett, who won Gold at the Youth Olympic Games recently, was given the honour of cutting the ribbon to open the exhibition.

Pat Hickey, who has become a patron of the committee along with Hollywood star Liam Neeson, who was in Belfast on Sunday to meet with the committee, said: “It’s always great to be in Belfast and on this occasion it’s an honour to be here in recognition of the sport of boxing.

“Belfast has gained so much from boxing and its heroes, the fighters, the trainers and the entire boxing fraternity. Irish boxing has been a success story at the Olympic Games and Belfast has played a major role in that story.
“I fully endorse the Belfast Boxing Ring’s aim to have boxing recognised in the city of Belfast.”

An unexpected but warmly welcomed guest also turned out last night – the world championship belt that belonged to ring legend Rinty Monaghan. The belt was brought to the exhibition by Rinty’s brother Tommy, who flew in from Michigan, USA, for the occasion.

Belfast Boxing Ring chairman Alex Maskey said: “It is wonderful that Pat Hickey and Liam Neeson have become patrons and supporters of our committee. There is a long road ahead for us but there is a great desire to see our legends recognised for the part they played in the history and the making of Belfast.

“We are rightly proud of the rich contribution boxing has made to the sporting, cultural, and community wellbeing of our city.”

Article posted on 08.09.2010

Bookmark and Share

previous article: Hunky Dorys Fight Night: Hylander set for Battle; Magee ready to show why he's Number 1

next article: Vivek Wallace Presents: 'OPEN MIC FAN MAIL' - (DAVID HAYE) Several Words, No Verbs.......

If you detect any issues with the legality of this site, problems are always unintentional and will be corrected with notification.
The views and opinions of all writers expressed on do not necessarily state or reflect those of the Management.
Copyright © 2001- 2015 - Privacy Policy l Contact