This years All Ireland series might be behind him but Tyrone football manager Mickey Harte has another important date in his diary before 2007 draws to a close. Harte who led his native county to a historic All Ireland football final win in 2003 and again in 2005 is now looking to guide fellow Tyrone man Damian Taggart to success in the squared circle..
Taggart, 25 who hails from Omagh makes his debut on the next Hunky Dorys Fight Night at the legendary Kings Hall, Belfast on December 8th as part of the supporting cast to the eagerly anticipated John Duddy – Howard Eastman clash. Taggart is hoping to get his professional career off to the best possible start and he already has the full backing of long time mentor Harte.
Harte explained, “I’ve known Damian and his family for a long time and he is a very determined young man. I’m always interested in helping young people reach their potential and although boxing is very different to what I’m used to but obviously in any sport you need the same attributes to be successful and I believe Damian has those attributes. He’s tremendously dedicated to his sport and always gives his very best so if I can help him to further his career and ambitions then I’m happy to do that.
“Damian boxed as an amateur but his ultimate ambition was always to be a professional boxer. He took some time out to do a degree in sports science and once he secured that he decided to return to boxing.”
However Harte says he won’t be in the corner with Taggart at the Kings Hall. “I’ll be sitting a safe distance from the ring”, joked Harte. “I’m not involved directly in his physical preparation, that’s for other people more familiar with the sport but I can hopefully help him with the psychology and fulfilling his potential because I believe he has the ability to achieve great things.
Taggart can’t wait to make his pro bow on the “Only Show in Town” and says he’s ready to rumble. “This is a great opportunity for me and I’m determined to grab it with both hands. It’s something I always wanted to do but never thought I’d get the chance. I’m training hard with John Breen in Belfast and getting great sparring with some of the best fighters in Ireland.
“Mickey’s been a great help. He’s always given me great advice and through his contacts he’s helped me get this opportunity.”
Meanwhile IBF Youth Featherweight champion, Martin Lindsay’s opponent for the December 8th event has been confirmed as Edison Torres. The dangerous Venezuelan veteran scored a KO win over former European Champ David Gueralt earlier this year and just under a year ago took current European Champion Kiko Martinez the distance.
New York based Westmeath prospect Alo Kelly has also been added to the card. A friend and sparring partner of John Duddy the super middleweight is undefeated in 4 since turning professional earlier this year.
Tickets for “The Only Show in Town” priced from £40 are on sale now from Ticketmaster.ie and all usual outlets.