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Local fighters to benefit from May boxing bonanza

James Tennyson will top the bill at the Europa Hotel on May 18 James Tennyson will top the bill at the Europa Hotel on May 18
By David Mohan

BELFAST is to host a boxing bonanza in May as three shows have been announced to take place in just eight days from May 17-25.

The news will come as a huge boost for fighters and fans, with a host of local talent set to benefit.

First to announce was Mark Dunlop whose stable of fighters including James Tennyson, Tommy McCarthy and Paul Hyland Jnr will appear at the Europa Hotel on Saturday, May 18 for MHD Promotions’ ‘Summer Brawl’.

The popular Europa Hotel event follows on from their recent sell out show at the Ulster Hall on February 9.

Also featuring on the dinner show will be Cathy McAleer, Feargal McCrory and Dublin’s Victor Rabei who will all be in exciting fights.

With Tennyson homing in on the European lightweight title and Hyland Jnr knocking on the door for the British title, their contest’s could see both of them in mandatory positions for those titles again.

New Irish champ, Feargal McCrory and the popular Cathy McAleer are also looking to progress onto the bigger stage with victories that can only push them in that direction.

Rabei himself is on the home straight for a shot at the Irish title and he ventures into the North for the first time.
“I am blessed to have such an outstanding line up on show on May 18, “ said Dunlop.

“The Europa shows are very popular, like home from home for my team. Tickets are going well and it promises to be another quality night.”

Tickets are very well priced with VIP Ringside including a four-course meal at £80, Ringside £50, Reserved £45 and Unreserved £40. (Tel: 07712473905 or email: mark@mhdpromotions.com).

MTK Fight Night
The previous night on May 17, MTK Global return to the city with the ESPN+ cameras in tow with the Ulster Hall once again their venue.

Already announced for their show is an all-Irish title fight with Marco McCullough set to take on Declan Geraghty for the IBF European super-featherweight belt.

Further news of fighters and fights added to this historic show will be forthcoming shortly, but it is believed that Ryan Burnett could make his return to action on the show following his unfortunate injury sustained against Nonito Donaire in the WBSS that saw the North Belfast man lose his WBA bantamweight title.

“This is fantastic news for MTK Global, for ESPN+, for iFL TV and for the city of Belfast,” said MTK Global Professional Development Coordinator, Jamie Conlan.

“We saw in the Cummings versus Keeler fight the special atmosphere that Ulster Hall can produce. It really is like no other boxing venue and ESPN+ subscribers are in for a real treat on the night.

“In Marco against Deco, you have a genuine 50-50 title fight and I think we’ll see (and hear) a similar cauldron-like environment to the one we witnessed with Cummings vs. Keeler.

“A title battle between north and south never disappoints and I know we have some more huge fights to announce on the card. Boxing fans should get their tickets early and stay tuned.”

Celtic Clash 8
Last and most certainly not least is the announcement that Boxing Ireland’s ‘Celtic Clash’ series will return to where it all began on Saturday, May 25 with an all-West Belfast derby topping the bill.

Joe Fitzpatrick and Stephen Webb will throw down at The Devenish for a lightweight clash that will whet the appetite and provide plenty of debate between local fans in this Divis v St James’ match-up.

The pair were due to meet at the Ulster Hall in February, but injury forced the fight onto the back-burner so now is the time for both to meet with the opportunity to push on for the winner.

Fitzpatrick (8-0) has been out of action for over a year and will be looking to make a statement upon his return, while Webb has endured a frustrating start to life as a pro as several fights fell through before he finally made a winning start in December.

Also included on the card are Mathew Fitzsimons, Ciaran McVarnock, Owen O’Neill and Conor Cooke to name a few, with a typically-stacked card expected to be filled out in the coming weeks.

“We have rebuilt the Celtic Clash series on the back of providing fans with what they really want to see, and that is local derbies with more than a hint of spice,” said Leonard Gunning from Boxing Ireland Promotions.

“Fitzpatrick v Webb delivers that in buckets and that’s why it is the perfect fight to bring the Celtic Clash brand back to Belfast.”

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