Fireworks can be expected this Friday night at Fairways Hotel in Dundalk, Ireland when rising Welterweight prospect “Irish” Paddy Murphy has his first professional bout in his native land. Murphy 8-0-1 (4 KO) faces rugged veteran Peter McDonagh 19-28 (2 KO) over 8 rounds for the Celtic Warrior Welterweight title. Born and raised in nearby Newry, Murphy has based himself in Australia since deciding to turn professional. He raced to seven straight victories before being robbed in Hong Kong and earning a draw in December of last year. Murphy is coming off a convincing win over Alex Ah Tong, where he obtained the WBF Asia Pacific title and impressed Ricky Hatton in the process.
McDonagh, who is the former Irish Lightweight champion and has mixed it with some of the best in his region. The “Connemara Kid” has victories over Curtis Woodhouse, Chris Sebire, Lee Purdy and Michael Gomez. He is trained by former Commonwealth Light Welterweight champion and Hatton opponent, Eamonn Magee. Magee has been critical of the standard of Australian boxing in the lead up to the fight, stating: “We all know what the standard of Australian boxing is like”. McDonagh quipped: “Believe me, there’s only going to be one winner on Friday night. It’s all about timing and his (Murphy’s) timing is wrong”.
Murphy countered: “I’m a proud Irishman, but I’m here to prove the level of Australian boxing is pretty good as well. I’ve had a full 8 week training camp and I’ve never been hitting harder. The referee will be raising my hand as the winner on the night”.
Murphy’s trainer Gareth Williams confirmed that his preparation has been ideal. “You can see just how much this fight means to Paddy. Everywhere we go people are stopping him in the street and wishing him luck. He’ll lift another level on the night because of the support”. Matt Clark, Murphy’s manager also believes Murphy is capable of winning the title. “Paddy is one of the best kept secrets in Australian boxing. He’s fought just the once on TV, so not everyone has heard of him. Believe me, they will shortly. The kid is a pleasure to deal with and his professionalism is unquestionable. I’m expecting a career best fight from him on Friday night and he’ll need to deliver it because McDonagh is no slouch.”
Also on the card is a barn-burning Irish Middleweight title fight featuring Eamon O’Kane 9-1 (3 KO) against Anthony Fitzgerald 14-4 (4 KO). The ten round contest has been dubbed as “must win” for both men. The winner will see his career flourish while the loser will need to rebuild. Fitzgerald will be looking to turn the tables on O’Kane, who beat him by split decision over three rounds in the Prizefighter competition last year.
Heavyweight prospect Hughie Fury will continue his quest to become the youngest ever Heavyweight champion when he tackles Croatian journeyman Ivica Perkovic. The cousin of Heavyweight contender, Tyson Fury, faces a step up in opposition with Perkovic having lasted the distance with established fighters such as Alexander Ustinov, Alexander Dimitrenko and Andrzej Wawrzyk.
The “son of a legend,” Steve Collins Jnr will make his professional debut over 4 stanzas at Cruiserweight. The former London Irish rugby hooker will be looking to impress when he faces Moses Matovu. Also featuring on the bill is red hot Light Welterweight prospect Philip Sutcliffe Jnr who is scheduled to meet Radoslav Mitev over 8 rounds.
Tickets Available from the venue or on: 07803959353