One Giant leap for Irishmen

The eight fighters in the all-Irish Betfair Prizefighter Middleweights came face-to-face at the stunning surroundings of the world famous Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland for the Sky Sports promotional shoot yesterday.

In less than two weeks time the King’s Hall in Belfast will be packed to the rafters as they fight for the title and £32,000 winner’s cheque in the 24th edition of Matchroom Sport’s eight man, one night event – and they were joined by Dungiven’s light welterweight star Paul McCloskey on a sunny day at the iconic rocks looking out on the Atlantic Ocean.
There was a new face in the line-up as former two-weight Irish champion Ciaran Healy stepped up from being a reserve to take Mark Heffron’s spot after he withdrew through injury. Healy admits this is a final shot at glory as he winds down his career, and will give everything he has get his hands on the trophy.
“This is my last year in boxing so I’m giving it one million per cent,” said Healy. “I’m just going to go in there and fight like mad. This is the last chance saloon for me, I’m definitely finishing this year.
“To go on and fight for British or Commonwealth titles would be the main incentive – everyone who has come out of Prizefighter as winners have gone on to have fights like that, and I would say it’s probably the most open Prizefighter because there’s a lot of quality and big-hitters in it, so I have a great chance to cause an upset.”
The 37 year-old joins a great mix of fighters on the night as Commonwealth gold medallist Eamonn O’Kane, Irish super middleweight champion JJ McDonagh, former champ Anthony Fitzgerald, former Prizefighter entrant Joe Rea, unbeaten Lurgan man Ryan Greene, ‘Slick Fightin’ Irish’ Simon O’Donnell and Roscommon’s Darren Cruise.
It’s a huge night in the career of McCloskey too as he faces former world champion ‘Chop Chop’ DeMarcus Corley, with Dudey looking to build on his gutsy win over Breidis Prescott and land a world title shot later in 2012.
The night begins with exciting young flyweight Jamie Conlan becomes the latest Prizefighter Prospect before the ever-popular former British featherweight champion Martin Lindsay continues his journey back to title contention.
Tickets priced at £30 (unreserved), £40 (reserved balcony or unreserved floor), £60 (outer-ringside) and £100 (ringside) are available from Ticketmaster on 0844 277 4455 – UK/Northern Ireland customers, 0818 719 300 – Republic of Ireland customers and at www.ticketmaster.ie
VIP packages priced £150 are available from Matchroom Sport on 01277 359900 and at www.matchroomboxing.com

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