Hunky Dorys Fight Night: Garcia throws down the gauntlet to DeGale; Breen Team looking to shine in Letterkenny

Irish based Cuban sensation Luis “El Leon” Garcia says he is ready, willing and able to accept a fight with Britain's Gold medallist, James “Chunky” DeGale if a clash between DeGale and domestic rival George Groves can't be made. Degale's promoter Frank Warren made Groves a written offer today for the fight to take place in the UK on December 11th and set DeGale's London rival a 48 hour deadline to accept or reject the fight. However Garcia says he wouldn't need any time to sleep on it. “I would accept that fight in a split second,” said Garcia. “I could get some Christmas shopping done in London and show Chumpy DeGale what professional boxing is all about so it sounds like a fun weekend to me..

Politics in Cuban boxing's amateur system intervened to ensure that DeGale and Garcia didn't meet at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing with Garcia overlooked for the Olympic team in favour of Emilio Correa who would eventually lose out to DeGale in the Olympic final.

“Correa's father was a Gold medallist in the 1972 Olympics and he is a powerful figure in amateur boxing in Cuba so it was no surprise to me that I was overlooked for the 2008 Olympics in favour of his son,” explained Garcia. “I should have gone to that Olympics but it wasn't to be so now I am concentrating on my professional career. DeGale would not have beaten me in Beijing and he certainly would not beat me now but if he wants to prove me wrong then that's not a problem although I'm not expecting a written offer any time soon! I'm pretty sure DeGale won't want any part of me.”

Still only 22 the prodigiously talented Garcia has raced to 9 straight wins (7 inside the distance) since relocating to Cork and turning professional in 2008. On October 2nd he will look to extend his perfect run to double figures when he takes on Uruguay's Jorge Rodriguez Olivera (20 wins, 1 defeat) on the Hunky Dorys Fight Night at The Aura in Letterkenny. Unbeaten Derry man Paul McCloskey headlines as he defends his European Light Welterweight title against Barry Morrison with Garcia a special attraction on the undercard alongside compatriot Alexei Acosta, another undefeated Cuban based in Cork.

Promoter Brian Peters believes that Garcia is the brightest talent in World boxing. “There is no doubt about it Garcia is a very, very special talent and to be honest I'd put him in with any super middleweight or light heavyweight in the world right now,” said Peters. “In his last fight he made a tough, seasoned danger man like Christian Cruz look like a novice and Cruz had previously lasted into the twelfth round with current IBF Super Middleweight Champ Lucien Bute and in to the tenth with current WBC Light Heavyweight Champ, Jean Pascal. I believe it's only a matter of time before Luis is one of the sports biggest names.”

The Hunky Dorys Fight Night on October 2nd also features unbeaten Cavan star Andy Murray taking on Dominican Republic dangerman Johnny Nolasco with Dublin's unbeaten featherweight prospect, Patrick Hyland also in action alongside reigning Irish Heavyweight Champ, Coleman Barrett, Mayo's unbeaten Super Featherweight Finbarr Eade, Dublin propsect Brendan Fitzpatrick and the professional debut of Donegal's own Michael McLaughlin.

Tickets for the Hunky Dorys Fight Night priced from €40 are available from / 0818 719300, The Aura, Letterkenny: 074 9106422, The Radisson Blu, Letterkenny: 074 9194444, Eurospar, Dungiven: 028 77741245 or Julie, Dungiven: 07745 698372.

Breen Team looking to shine in Letterkenny

John Breen's Belfast gym is buzzing right now with 4 members of the “Breen Team” set for battle on the Hunky Dorys Fight Night at the The Aura, Letterkenny on Saturday. October 2nd. Reigning European Light Welterweight Champion Paul McCloskey tops the bill in the second defence of his title against Scotland's Barry Morrison with McCloskey's gym mates Andy Murray, Brendan Fiztpatrick and Michael McLaughlin also in action and Breen is confident that the hard work being done in the gym will payoff on October 2nd.

Breen's spit and sawdust sweatbox located in the heart of Belfast's city centre has consistently produced some of Ireland's top professionals and the veteran Belfast trainer is confident that new pro's like Fitzpatrick and McLaughlin can go no to enjoy the same levels as success enjoyed by established names like McCloskey and Murray.

“It's a very busy gym right now and busy gym's are generally successful ones,” said Breen. “Having a reigning European Champion like Paul in the gym is a great incentive for the other guys and actually this is the best I've seen Paul train for any fight. He's really sharp and very focused on the job and putting in an impressive performance against Morrison.

Last time out McCloskey successfully defended his title against mandatory challenger, Giuseppe Lauri ending the fight in the eleventh round with a stunning one punch KO. However neither Breen or McCloskey were happy with the champion's performance up to that point in the fight as the Dungiven southpaw got drawn into a toe to toe war with his Italian challenger.

“Paul was so mad at himself for getting drawn into the wrong kind of fight last time out against Lauri so I think that's really fired him up for this fight,” said Breen. “He knows what he should have done against Lauri but sometimes tin the heat of the moment and you get dragged into a fight. Paul has unbelievable boxing ability but he didn't show it last time out. He's learned a lot from that last fight though and it won't happen again. I honestly think he will break Morrison down and break his heart similar to the way he beat Colin Lynes to win the British title.

Breen is also expecting a big performance from Andy Murray. The unbeaten Cavan star takes on Dominican Republic dangerman Johnny Nolasco in Letterkenny but Breen is confident that his charge has what it takes to get past Nolasco. “Obviously Nolasco is no mug, he was a great amateur and he's been avoided by some big names in the pros but I believe Andy's ready to step it up now. He has made big improvements over the last 18 months and he's won his last 4 by stoppage. He's starting to plant his feet and hurt guys in there now and his results have been proof of that.

“We're not expecting an easy night because Noalsco is a handful but Andy's a very hard worker in the gym and by the time this fight comes around he will have sparred over 100 rounds so he will be more than ready.”

Breen has also been impressed with how new pro's Brendan Fitzpatrick and Michael McLaughlin have adjusted to the professional ranks. Fitzpatrick made a successful pro debut in Dublin earlier this month with an impressive stoppage win and will have his second pro fight in Letterkenny. Carndonagh native McLaughlin will have plenty of local support for his pro debut in Letterkenny and Breen is confident that both men have what it takes to succeed in the paid code.

“Brendan is very eager to learn and wiling to make the sacrifices you need to be successful as a professional. He's only starting out and I'm working with him on little things like using more upper body movement but he boxed very well in Dublin and followed instructions to a tee and I'lm hoping for more of the same in Letterkenny.

“Michael's been working hard in the gym and sparring well. Obviously like everyone else he will need time to adjust to the pro ranks from the amateurs but he is doing very well so far and it's a big boost for him to be able to make his pro debut so close to home in Letterkenny.”

The Hunky Dorys Fight Night on October 2nd also features Dublin's unbeaten featherweight prospect, Patrick Hyland, reigning Irish Heavyweight Champ, Coleman Barrett, Cork based Cuban sensations Alexei Acosta and Luis Garcia and Mayo's unbeaten Super Featherweight Finbarr Eade.

Tickets for the Hunky Dorys Fight Night priced from €40 are available from / 0818 719300, The Aura, Letterkenny: 074 9106422, The Radisson Blu, Letterkenny: 074 9194444, Eurospar, Dungiven: 028 77741245 or Julie, Dungiven: 07745 698372.

Article posted on 21.09.2010

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