Boxing


Yanjing Fight Night: Lee and Thiam kick off Fight week at the Crescent

The fight week build up to Andy Lee's clash with former European Champ Mamadou Thiam on the Yanjing Fight Night on Saturday, May 15th in Limerick kicks off in earnest next Tuesday (12 noon - 2 pm) when the two men come face to face for the first time at the Crescent Shopping Centre in the city. This free event is open to the public and RTÉ's Jimmy Magee will be the master of ceremonies with the boxers also participating in a public workout with a boxing ring specially erected for the occasion in one of Ireland's biggest shopping complexes..

Local hero Lee and French based KO artist Thiam boxers will be greeted at The Crescent by Limerick's Mayor Cllr. Kevin Kiely with a selection of the undercard boxers also involved as the public get a chance to have a unique up close and personal look at a professional boxer's training regime.

Limerick's Live 95fm will broadcast from the event live with a special roadshow edition of the Afternoon show from the Crescent while the public will also have an opportunity to win tickets to the big fight.

Promoter Brian Peters believes it will give people an insight in to a professional boxer's daily routine. "Essentially it's about giving the public a chance to see what a professional boxer goes through on a day to day basis in training,” said Peters.

“Obviously everyone can see the results on fight night but people generally don't get to see the amount of effort that these guys put in whipping themselves in to shape for a bout.

"People will even get a chance to see some good competitive sparring as well so it really should be a very interesting event and who better to MC it than the voice of Irish boxing, Mr. Jimmy Magee."

Mamadou Thiam, Lee's opponent on Saturday week, has a fearsome reputation as one of boxing's biggest hitters with an incredible 43 of his 46 wins coming via KO and he has vowed to make Lee victim number 44.

Castleconnell native Lee will touch down in Shannon over the weekend having completed his training camp for the fight in Florida with hall of fame trainer Emanuel Steward and Peters is predicting an explosive night of boxing.

“Thiam is a very dangerous guy, he has that unique ability to end a fight in an instant because of his power so Andy will have to be at his best but I think that little bit of fear factor will bring out the best in him.”

A hard hitting undercard for the Yanjing Fight Night includes World and European Champion Katie Taylor featuring in an international amateur contest while the card will also see two Irish Professional titles up for grabs for the first time ever in Limerick.

Local fan favourite Jamie Power clashes with John Waldron for the Irish Light Heavyweight title while Mayo's Michael Sweeney will be out to end Dubliner Ian Tims unbeaten record in a grudge match for the Irish Cruiserweight title.

Undefeated Cavan star Andy Murray will be looking to continue his perfect record and follow on from his impressive win over Oisin Fagan in the main event on RTÉ's last Pro Box Live show. The 27-year-old lightweight has 18 straight wins to his name in the pro ranks and is currently rated number 3 in Europe. He faces Englishman Amir Unsworth in Limerick.

Recently crowned Irish Heavyweight Champ Coleman Barrett will also be in action. The Galway native has won all but one of his 12 pro fights to date with his only defeat coming to Olympic Gold medallist and new European Champ Audley Harrison in last year's Prizefighter final.

Limerick fight fans will also be excited by the return of Cuban heavyweight phenomenon Mike “The Rebel” Perez to Shannonside. The Cork based southpaw is unbeaten in 8 pro contests and in his last Limerick appearance the former World Junior amateur Champion needed just 41 seconds to chalk up another KO victory.

Perez's compatriot Luis Garcia will also be out to impress against Germany's Alexander Sipos, a former European title challenger who gave Andy Lee a very decent argument at The O2 in Dublin last March. Despite having had just 5 professional fights the 22-year-old Super Middleweight is already ranked in the world's top 50 and has been described by many boxing insiders as a special talent and a future World Champion.

Another intriguing contest on the bill will see Mullingar's Paddy McDonagh taking a major step up in class as he tackles former Irish Champion and Andy Lee opponent Ciaran Healy in just his third pro fight while the Limerick based Galwegian Alan Donnellon makes his professional debut in a Light Middleweight contest.

Tickets for the Yanjing Fight Night priced €30, €40, €50, €60, €75 and €100 are available from Ticketmaster (phone 0818 719 300 or visit ticketmaster.ie) or locally in Limerick from The University Sports Arena, the George Hotel and the South Court Hotel.


Thiam promising another French KO for Limerick

Munster's European Rugby Cup dreams were destroyed by the strength and power of French side Biarritz at the weekend and French knockout artist Mamadou Thiam has promised to end Andy Lee's European title aspirations via the same methods on the Yanjing Fight Night at the University Sports Arena, Limerick on May 15th. Former European Champion and two time World title challenger Thiam is one of boxing's biggest hitters with an incredible 43 of his 46 wins coming via KO and he plans on joining the Biarritz team in breaking the hearts of Limerick's sports fans.

The Senegal based Parisian is supremely confident of making Lee his 44th knockout victim and says he won't be relying on the scorecards. “Of course I am predicting a knockout, that is what I do for a living,” said Thiam.

“Some people sell cars, some people build houses, some people drive buses, I knock people out. I suppose I'm like a dentist because we both take teeth out for a living!

“It's not a personal thing for me, I'm sure Andy Lee is a very nice guy but this is a business and a very hard business and there is no room for nice guys. Lee is a big name in Ireland but I have fought at the highest level and I know what it takes to succeed there. Lee will be a good scalp for me and put me in a position to win another European title.”

Thiam is no stranger to fighting on the road having scored wins in 6 different countries and he's looking forward to adding Ireland to that list. “I've fought all over the World and I'm excited about fighting in Ireland. I heard that the scenery there is beautiful but for Andy Lee the view from the canvas wont be so pretty!”

Thiam's manager Mirko Skoko is equally confident about his man's chances. “I have been ringside for some of Andy's fights in Germany before and he is a good fighter but I don't believe he will be able to take the power.

“Mamadou is one of the biggest punchers in boxing and his record backs that up. For Mamadou it doesn't matter if the fight is in Paris or in Lee's home town because when his big punches land there will be no need for the judges.”

The undercard for the Yanjing Fight Night should prove equally as hard hitting with reigning World and European Champion Katie Tayor leading the supporting cast as she features in an international amateur contest.

Two Irish titles will also be on the line in Limerick as local favourite Jamie Power looks to capture the Irish Light Heavyweight title against John “The Warrior” Waldron while Dublin's Ian Tims will put his unbeaten record on the line in an Irish Cruiserweight title decider with Michael “The Storm” Sweeney.

Two other reigning Irish Champions will feature in international contests with Irish Lightweight Champ and current European number 3 Andy Murray looking to stretch his perfect professional record to 19 straight wins while recently crowned Irish Heavyweight Champ Coleman Barrett will also be in action.

The Galway southpaw has won all but one of his 12 pro fights to date with his only defeat coming to Olympic Gold medallist and new European Champ Audley Harrison in last year's Prizefighter final.

Limerick fight fans will also be excited by the return of Cuban heavyweight phenomenon Mike “The Rebel” Perez to Shannonside. The Cork based southpaw is unbeaten in 8 pro contests and in his last Limerick appearance the former World Junior amateur Champion needed just 41 seconds to chalk up another KO victory.

Perez's compatriot Luis Garcia will also be out to impress against Germany's Alexander Sipos, a former European title challenger who gave Andy Lee a very decent argument at The O2 in Dublin last March. Despite having had just 5 professional fights the 22-year-old Super Middleweight is already ranked in the world's top 50 and has been described by many boxing insiders as a special talent and a future World Champion.

Another intriguing contest on the bill will see Mullingar's Paddy McDonagh taking a major step up in class as he tackles former Irish Champion and Andy Lee opponent Ciaran Healy in just his third pro fight while the Limerick based Galwegian Alan Donnellan makes his professional debut in a Light Middleweight contest.

Tickets for the Yanjing Fight Night priced €30, €40, €50, €60, €75 and €100 are available from Ticketmaster (phone 0818 719 300 or visit ticketmaster.ie) or locally in Limerick from The University Sports Arena, the George Hotel and the South Court Hotel.


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Article posted on 06.05.2010



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