IRISH BOXING’S GOLDEN GENERATION


 
MICHAEL CONLAN believes Irish professional boxing is the strongest it has ever been and warned the world: The best is yet to come.
 
Conlan returns home to Belfast on Saturday when he meets Brazil’s former world title challenger Adeilson Dos Santos at the SSE Arena (Live on BT Sport) in a non-title ten rounder.
 
He has become one of the flag bearers for Irish boxing and the 2015 world amateur champion, boomed: “Irish boxing is just getting better”
 
Conlan who hasn’t boxed in his home city since February 2011 added: “I think Irish professional boxing is the strongest it has ever been.
 
“We had the golden age of Irish amateur boxing, and right now it is the golden age of professional boxing.”
 
Besides Conlan’s march to the top, two-time world champion Carl Frampton is in the form of his life and close friend Paddy Barnes challenges for the WBC flyweight title at Windsor Park in August.
 
Besides those success stories Ryan Burnett holds a WBA version of the world bantamweight title.
 
Conlan, 26, who has won all seven fights since turning professional in the United States insists he will be home to fight once a year despite being a boxing darling in New York.
 
And he is dreaming of a triple world title bill boxing alongside Frampton and Barnes.
 
He said: “Guys like myself and Paddy have turned professional and Carl turned over earlier, but we have all added to this era which is going to take Irish boxing up another level.
 
“It would be unbelievable if Carl, Paddy and myself could all defend world titles on the same bill.
 
“It will be hard because of timing and stuff, but we are all with the same management team so it’s definitely a possibility.”
 
The undercard has produced one of the most competitive undercards ever seen in Belfast with a catalogue of 50-50 needle showdowns. World ranked Jack Catterall risks his WBO super-lightweight title against Belfast’s Tyrone McKenna.
 
There is a brilliant all Dublin rematch when Jono Carroll defends his IBF intercontinental crown against Declan Geraghty. When the warring rivals met in November 2014, Geraghty was ahead on the cards when he was disqualified in the fourth round.
In a clash of unbeaten hopefuls,
 
Derry’s Tyrone McCullagh meets Glasgow’s Joe Ham in vacant Celtic super-bantamweight title clash that doubles as a British championship eliminator.
 
The undercard is stacked with top prospects Lewis Crocker, Sunny Edwards, Padraig McCrory, Sean McComb, Taylor McGoldrick, Neslan Machado, Garry Cully plus Johnny Coyle and Lewis Benson who clash over ten rounds and recent world title challenger Gary Corcoran.
 
Tickets prices £250 (Inner Ring Hospitality), £200 (Outer Ring Hospitality), £120, £100, £80, £60, £50, £40 are available from the SSE Arena website.

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MCKENNA DOESN’T WANT INSIDE INFO FROM PAL FRAMPTON


 
TYRONE MCKENNA is refusing to ask Carl Frampton for secrets on big fight rival Jack Catterall.
 
He challenges for Catterall’s WBO Intercontinental Super-Lightweight crown at Belfast’s SSE Arena on Saturday in a fight where Frampton must be dreading which side to support.
 
The two-weight world champion is a close friend of McKenna and trains alongside Catterall at their trainer Jamie Moore’s gym on the outskirts of Manchester.
 
Catterall has taken the BT Sport televised fight at short notice and replaces injured Phil Sutcliffe.
 
McKenna, 28, said: “Carl was actually supposed to walk me out to the ring for the fight when Phil was the opponent, but that has changed. I wouldn’t want Carl in an awkward position.
 
“I was going to fight Tommy Coyle before and he was in camp with Carl. I always seem to be fighting friends or friends of friends. Everyone in boxing seems to know each other.
 
“I would never put Carl in the position where he talks about one of his gym mates. I wouldn’t like him to fight one of my team mates and ask about them.
 
“There is a line which you never cross during camp and I would never ask Carl, ‘How is Jack getting on in sparring? How is he doing with his weight?’
 
“I wouldn’t expect him to say to Jack what he knows about me and he wouldn’t get involved in that. There has to be respect.”
 
McKenna who is unbeaten in 17 fights has seen his profile grow in the last 12 months and the 6ft 1in southpaw believes his popularity will mushroom after this weekend’s fight that has captured the imagination.
 
Tyrone who outpointed Anthony Upton in his last fight added: “My last six fights have been on TV and I have a big fan base now.
 
“I have never taken an easy fight or turned down a fight. I was offered Jack when Phil pulled out and straight away I said, ’Yes’”.
 
The bill is topped by Michael Conlan’s Homecoming bout against Brazil’s former world title challenger Adeilson Dos Santos.
 
There is an all Dublin rematch when Jono Carroll defends his IBF intercontinental super featherweight crown against Declan Geraghty.
 
When they met in November 2014, Geraghty was ahead before he was disqualified in the fourth round. In a clash of unbeaten hopefuls,
 
Derry’s Tyrone McCullagh meets Glasgow’s Joe Ham in a vacant Celtic super-bantamweight title clash that doubles as a British championship eliminator.
 
The undercard is stacked with top prospects including Lewis Crocker, Sunny Edwards, Padraig McCrory, Taylor McGoldrick, Neslan Machado, Garry Cully plus Johnny Coyle and Lewis Benson who clash over ten rounds.
 
Tickets prices £250 (Inner Ring Hospitality), £200 (Outer Ring Hospitality), £120, £100, £80, £60, £50, £40 are available from the SSE Arena website.

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CONLAN HAS TO CRACK BRAZILIAN TOUGH NUT


 
MICHAEL CONLAN will face former world title challenger Adeilson Dos Santos in his homecoming fight on Saturday June 30 live on BT Sport.
 
His first seven fights have taken place in the United States but Frank Warren is bringing him home to the Odyssey Arena on another brilliant fight night in Belfast.
 
Conlan’s return to his back yard is also the featherweight star’s first ever ten rounder and another step towards him emulating Irish greats and becoming a world champion.
 
Conlan hasn’t boxed in his home city since December 2010 when he lost a controversial decision in the Ulster Senior Championships.
 
He said: “It is an honour to be boxing at the Odyssey Arena and an even bigger honour to be headlining the card.
 
“I have been there watching Carl Frampton box many times and often pictured myself in that ring being cheered on.”
 
Brazilian Dos Santos, 26, has won 19 of his 23 professional and last year challenged Jessie Magdaleno for the WBO super-bantamweight title.
 
On a previous British visit in 2014 he lost on points against Kid Galahad over 12 rounds and promises to give Conlan a tough night.
 
‘The Conlan Revolution,’ as it has become known since the Irish Olympian turned professional under the Top Rank banner in March of 2017, will come across its sternest test to date.
 
Conlan added: “Dos Santos has competed at the highest level and this fight will be my toughest fight as professional to date.
 
“He has challenged for the world title, made Kid Galahad work, but I believe it’s a test I am ready for.
 
“At this stage it’s all about progression and learning. I believe it’s the right step at the right time.”
 
The undercard has produced one of the most competitive undercards ever seen in Belfast with a catalogue of 50-50 needle showdowns.
 
World ranked Jack Catterall risks his WBO super-lightweight title against Belfast’s Tyrone McKenna.
 
There is a brilliant all Dublin rematch when Jono Carroll defends his IBF intercontinental crown against Declan Geraghty. When the warring rivals met in November 2014, Geraghty was ahead on the cards when he was disqualified in the fourth round.
 
Belfast’s Paddy Gallagher faces recent world title challenger Gary Corcoran in a British welterweight title eliminator.
 
In a clash of unbeaten hopefuls, Derry’s Tyrone McCullagh meets Glasgow’s Joe Ham in vacant Celtic super-bantamweight title clash that doubles as a British championship eliminator.
 
The undercard is stacked with top prospects including Lewis Crocker, Sunny Edwards, Padraig McCrory, Taylor McGoldrick, Neslan Machado, Garry Cully plus Johnny Coyle and Lewis Benson who clash over ten rounds.
 
Tickets priced at £44, £55, £65, £85, £105, £125, £205
are available via the SSE Arena Belfast official website

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CATTERALL: “I’VE ALREADY PASSED TOUGHER TESTS THAN McKENNA


 
Jack Catterall has dismissed the notion Tyrone McKenna presents the most thorough examination of his world title credentials.
 
The unbeaten super-lightweights are preparing to collide in a mouth-watering clash on the undercard of Michael Conlan’s homecoming on June 30 – with many viewing the bout as impossible to predict.
 
World-ranked Catterall (21-0-KO12), however, is supremely confident of retaining his WBO strap against ‘The Mighty Celt’ (16-0-1-KO6).
 
Catterall said: “Tyrone is not my toughest test to date. I’ve been in tougher fights than this one will be.
 
“Nathan Brough was a tough amateur and I knocked him out. Tyrone Nurse achieved more than McKenna. Nurse had some good wins and lots of momentum before I fought him.
 
“I’ve also sparred McKenna myself. I sparred him before my British title fight once or twice. He’s a southpaw and very tall but the way he fights is fine for me.
 
“The way Tyrone fights, it looks like he’s not shy in coming forward to have a go and that suits me down to the ground. He’s there to be taken out.
 
“I believe there’s only one winner but I do respect him. I was actually talking to him a couple of weeks before the fight got announced. I hope Belfast gets behind him – they seem to love him.
 
“I’ll bring some good support with me too. I didn’t get to showcase my improvements at Elland Road but hopefully I will this time round. It’s a huge event coming up in Belfast.”
 
Michael Conlan headlines in his homecoming show on June 30th at the SSE Arena, Belfast. Catterall v McKenna is just one of a host of huge fights on the night, with Jono Carroll’s long-awaited rematch with Declan Geraghty and Paddy Gallagher v Gary Corcoran, Tyrone McCullagh v Joe Ham and Johnny Coyle v Lewis Benson all competing for limelight.

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