Boxing


Poonsawat standing in the way of potential Dunne – Vazquez Mega Fight

WBA Super Bantamweight Champ Bernard Dunne will start targeting some of the biggest names in the sport should he come through the first defence of his World title at The O2, Dublin on the next Hunky Dorys Fight Night. The Dubliner returns to the scene of his dramatic title win over Ricardo Cordoba on Saturday, September 26th as he attempts to see off the challenge of number one rated contender Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym from Thailand..

Dunne’s promoter Brian Peters is lining up a potential mega fight with pound for pound boxing superstar Israel “Magnifico” Vazquez for early next year but the highly rated Poonsawat will be looking to disrupt those plans and it’s something Peters is keenly aware of.

“There are no easy fights at top level and that’s certainly the case for Bernard on the 26th,” admitted Peters. “Poonsawat is a tremendous fighter, he’s a real power house and he carries knockout power in both hands. He’s only lost once in 39 fights and he’s had almost as many knockouts as Bernard’s had fights so his statistics are very, very impressive.

“The bookies see it as a real 50-50 fight and to be honest it promises to be even tougher than the Cordoba fight. If you look at the Ring magazine ratings they have Poonsawat listed at number 3 and Bernard at 6 so although Bernard might be the Champion a lot of people clearly think that Poonsawat is the better man. In many respects beating Poonsawat would even top the win over Cordoba. That’s the kind of challenge Bernard relishes though and in front of another big crowd at The O2 he’ll be a very difficult man to beat.”

While Dunne is putting his body through a punishing training camp in Belfast Peters already has one eye on the future and the possibility of a mega fight with Vazquez who is considered to be pound for pound, one of the best boxers in the world.

“Vazquez is one of the sport’s great warriors. He’s a Mexican legend and his trilogy with Rafael Marquez will go down in history as one of the great boxing rivalries. However Bernard sparred countless rounds with him when he trained with Freddie Roach out in LA. He knows him inside out and he would jump at the chance of a fight with him.”

Vazquez confirmed his interest in a match up with Dunne in a recent interview with Boxing News magazine. “I hope Bernard keeps winning, I have nothing but respect for him,” revealed Vazquez. “He’s a friend of mine but sometimes in the boxing world you have to fight your friends and that’s just the business we’re in. I like Bernard and I was happy to see him win a world title.

“When I sparred Bernard he was fighting at featherweight, I feel that making super bantamweight is harder for him. I would like a chance to fight Bernard Dunne in the near future. Bernard’s title is at super bantamweight but I feel more comfortable fighting at featherweight. If Bernard wouldn’t mind moving up to featherweight to face me, just to see who the better man is then I would have no problem fighting in Ireland. I remember sparring with Bernard and he is a heavy handed fighter and has a lot of heart. I would like to fight in Ireland and give all the fans over there a match that they would love.”

Vazquez’s manager Frank Espinoza confirmed that negotiations for the fight have taken place. “We had been offered a fight against Bernard Dunne by Brian Peters but at that particular time Israel was not medically clear to box. Now that he is medically clear if Bernard would come up to 126 it’s a fight that we would like to look at.”

Peters confirmed it’s a fight that could be on the cards should Dunne get past Poonsawat on September 26th. “Obviously the weight is a bit of a sticking point currently but both sides would like the fight so it’s something that I will keep working on. It would be a huge fight either in the U.S. or in Dublin but for now Bernard’s sole focus is on Poonsawat.”

Dunne is currently sparring with Canadian Olivier Lontchi in preparation for his date with the Thai challenger. The World rated Lontchi is coming off a defeat to Juan Manuel Lopez for the WBO title in June and is the first of three world class sparring partners set to work with Dunne ahead of the Poonsawat bout.

The undercard for the Hunky Dorys World Title Fight night is also taking shape with unbeaten Cavan star Andy Murray defending his European Union Lightweight title against former Italian Champ Pasquale Di Silvio in the chief supporting contest.

Two of Dublin’s favourite fighting sons have also been added to the bill with current Irish and IBF International Featherweight champ Patrick Hyland set to feature alongside former Irish Lightweight champ Oisin Fagan in separate bouts.

Hyland, one of three boxing brothers from Tallaght who are all reigning Irish professional champions is undefeated in 17 pro fights and fresh from his impressive IBF International title win over African danger man Abdu Tebazalwa.

Fagan will be looking to bounce back following a points defeat to Patrick’s older brother, Eddie Hyland in a fight of the year candidate in July. The Portmarnock based Fagan who recently featured on RTÉ’s Charity Lords of the Ring series has shared the ring with some of the biggest names in the sport including Amir Khan, Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr. and Paul Spadafora. Further undercard bouts will be announced next week.

Tickets for the Hunky Dorys World Title Fight Night are priced from €50 and are available from Ticketmaster (phone 0818 719 300 or visit ticketmaster.ie). Tickets are also available from Ticketmaster outlets nationwide.

Article posted on 03.09.2009



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