Professional boxing makes a welcome return to Ireland this evening in the National Stadium and it’s a wonderful chance for young prospects to make a name for themselves. Exciting Belfast Lightweight Paul Hyland Junior tops the bill against Laszlo Fekete of Hungary. Hyland has built a big reputation for himself in his native Belfast and he showed great confidence in his last bout when he travelled to Latvia to defeat local boxer Ruslans Berdimuradovs in 1 round. Lightweight is one of Ireland’s most exciting divisions domestically and an impressive win tonight will set Hyland Junior up for some mouth watering clashes later in the year.
Dubliner Jake Hanney has been earning his living in Australia and has built up a 4-0 record, with all 4 victories coming by stoppage. Tonight he’ll fight in his home town for the first time as a professional and he’ll be looking to make a statement. He faces the very tough Innocent Anyanwu, a Nigerian based in Holland. Ananwu is a veteran of 42 fights and he’s been stopped just 4 times and with 13 of his 22 victories coming by stoppage, he carries quite a bit of power too. Hanney will be looking to continue his ko streak and with his exciting style, he’s a great addition to the domestic scene.
3 men make their professional débuts this evening. Light Heavyweight Chris Blaney, Light Middleweight Jay Byrne and Super Featherweight Eric Donovan. It’s Eric Donovan who has grabbed the most headlines in the build up due to his standout amateur career and his performances in the World Series of Boxing. Much is expected of him as a professional and he takes on Damian Lawniczak looking to get off to the best possible start.
Darren Cruise is also back in action and is on the hunt for another Irish title bout having just come up short against JJ McDonagh for the Super Middleweight title in April. He’s moved down to Middleweight and at 26 years of age, he has plenty of time to make a statement in that division. He takes on the unbeaten Ferenc Katona.
Alan Donnellan is another man looking for an Irish title shot. He’s on a decent run having won his last 3 bouts and he’ll be looking to continue that form against Gabor Zsalek. Michael Devine will be looking to get back to winning ways having lost his last 4 bouts (against very tough opposition). He takes on the unbeaten Vitalijs Usovs. The Latvian has won his 3 bouts by knock out.
Derry native Tyrone McCullagh will be looking to keep his knockout streak going when he takes on Aleksandrs Birkenbergs. McCullagh has been sensational so far in his professional career, stopping all 3 opponents faced and taking only 5 rounds to do so.
A trio of unbeaten Dubliners will be looking to make a statement tonight in front of their home crowd. Bernard Roe faces Marcin Cybulski, Stephen Carroll takes on Tamas Laska and Sean Creagh fights Gyula Tallosi.