Andy Murray vs. Claudinei Lacerda, Hyland-Morra on 11/20
Irish boxing's Young Gun's are set to fire in Ireland's West this November when the Hunky Dorys Fight Night comes to the Breaffy House Resort in Castlebar on November 20th. Headlining the event which will be live on RTÉ will be Cavan star, Andy Murray who is tied with European Light Welterweight Champion Paul McCloskey for the longest unbeaten run in Irish boxing. Murray will put his perfect 22 fight record on the line as he takes a step up in class to take on current World number 14 and WBO Latino Champ, Claudinei “Volcano” Lacerda. The 30-year-old Brazilian knockout artist is putting a possible World title shot on hold and his World ranking on the line in a bid to snap Murray's 5 and a half year winning streak.
Article posted on 19.10.2010
However Murray remains typically unperturbed at the prospect of facing a big punching, World title contender. “I've watched a few of his fights and technically he's quite good and obviously he can punch a bit,” said Murray. “He's aggressive and throws looping shots with both hands so I'll have to be wary of them but he I've spotted flaws as well that I'm confident I can exploit in there.”
Murray is already in contention for the European title which is held by Manchester man and namesake, John Murray but a win over Lacerda could also see him take the Brazilian's place in the World ratings. However the Cavan man is more interested in doing his talking inside the ring than speculating on title opportunities. “To be honest I don't spend too much time thinking about the ratings or any talk of European or World titles. All I'm concentrating about is putting on a good performance in Castlebar and getting another win. As long as I'm doing that then I'll keep moving up the ladder and everything else will fall into place. You can talk until you're blue in the face about titles or possible fights but talk is cheap in this game and all that matters is what happens between those ropes.”
Murray will be looking to end a successful year on a high at the Breaffy House Resort with his seventh fight in 12 months having successfully bounced back from a broken collar bone last year which threatened to disrupt his progress. “Obviously I picked up that injury and that was a real setback but it was important that I came back from that as quickly as possible and I was back in the ring just over 2 months later. It's been a great year for me since the injury, in fact it's been the busiest year I've had since turning professional.”
Promoter Brian Peters is confident that Murray has what it takes to see off the challenge of Lacerda. “It's a big opportunity for Andy,” said Peters. “Lacerda's rated 14th in the World by the WBO so if Andy can beat him it will be a significant scalp. Andy's profile is growing all the time because of his appearances on RTÉ and also the fact that this year alone he's boxed in Dublin, Limerick, Belfast Cork, Letterkenny and now Castlebar. People warm to him very quickly because he is so softly spoken and unassuming. He really is the ultimate “Quiet Man” and he lets his fists do the talking but there's a determination and resolve about him that will make him very hard to beat.”
Another man looking to extend his unbeaten record in Castlebar will be Dublin Featherweight Patrick “The Punisher” Hyland. The reigning Irish Champion will take on the European rated Massimo Morra as he bids to close in on a shot at new European Champion Sofiane Takoucht.
Hyland has won all 20 of his pro outings to date but faces a step up in class against Morra, a 2 weight Italian Champion. “He's a tough veteran,” acknowledged the Tallaght native. “I've watched a bit of him and I'll have to be careful because he throws plenty of leather and has a good overhand right. He'll keep coming forward but that will suit me because I won't have to go looking for him and as long as he's throwing punches then that means he'll be leaving openings for me to exploit.”
Morra has a record of 21 wins, 5 defeats and 3 draws but he has never been stopped and Hyland says he will be prepared to go the distance. “If the stoppage comes it comes but I won't be going out looking for it. To be honest I'll be happy to get some rounds under my belt. When I knocked out Mickey Coveney back in February he told me afterwards that it was the hardest he'd ever been hit and he's mixed in very good company throughout his career so that was nice to hear but I still feel that I'm developing my power and there is still more to come.”
The bout will be broadcast live on RTÉ's Pro Box Live giving Hyland valuable exposure following his TV debut against Coveney earlier in the year. “Last time against Coveney there was a few butterflies with it being my first time on RTÉ but all that's out of the way now and I think Morra's style should suit me and hopefully we can make it an exciting fight but there will only be one winner!”
Hyland's younger brother Paul is the number 1 challenger for the European Super Bantamweight title and sibling rivalry ensures that Patrick also has his sights on a European title shot in 2011. “Morra's rated just below me in the European ratings so hopefully it's a chance for me to jump up a few places because the European title is my main target right now. The new Champion, Takoucht is a southpaw and I've stopped every southpaw I've faced in the pro's so I'd love to get a crack at him.”
Promoter Brian Peters has revealed how Takoucht rejected an offer to come to Castlebar to make his first defence against Hyland. “Patrick's ready to be let off the leash now and we tried very hard to get Takoucht to Castlebar to defend his title but he didn't fancy it. Hopefully we can convince him to come to Ireland early next year. First though Patrick needs to take care of Morra, there's only a few places between them in the European ratings so hopefully a convincing win over Morra will prove that he's ready for anyone in Europe including the Champion.”
Another man with European title ambitions is Belfast heavyweight Martin “Iron Man” Rogan who will also be in action in Castlebar. Rogan returns to the ring after a year out through injury in Limerick on November 6th on the undercard of the Kiko Martinez – Willie Casey European title fight and assuming he comes through that assignment ok he will be back in action in Co. Mayo just two weeks later. Rogan, the inaugural Prizefighter Champion and former Commonwealth Champion holds a December 2008 win over Audley Harrison who of course next month will bid to rip the WBA World Heavyweight title from David Haye. Further hard hitting heavyweight action on the card will see unbeaten Cork based Cuban sensation Mike “The Rebel” Perez look to continue his perfect record.
There will also be plenty of local interest on the card in Castlebar with Mayo natives John Waldron, Henry Coyle and Finbarr Eade all in action. Waldron, the reigning Irish Light Heavyweight Champion will look to defend his title and avenge a 2008 defeat when he rematches with Belfast's Ciaran Healy and the Ballyhaunis native can't wait to defend his title so close to home. “This is a natural fight for me and a chance to avenge one of the defeats on my record,” said Waldron. “Obviously all the talk was about an all Mayo Irish title fight with Michael Sweeney but unfortunately Michael's out injured at the moment so Ciaran Healy has stepped up to the mark and I want to set the record straight with him.”
The “Western Warrior” Henry Coyle will also be back in action in his native county as the hugely popular Geesala native returns home from his Chicago base. “It's great to be back in my own county where it all started,” said the hard hitting light middleweight. “It doesn't matter where you go in the world whether its Madison Square Garden or Las Vegas there is nothing like boxing before your home fans and the last time I boxed in Castlebar was a truly memorable occasion and hopefully all my loyal fans will come out again to support me next month.”
Another man likely to have huge support is Westport's Finbarr Eade as the popular super featherweight looks to continue his campaign for an Irish title shot while Roscommon prospect Darren Cruise completes the lineup.
Tickets for the Hunky Dorys Fight Night: Young Guns priced from €40, €50, €60 and €80 go no sale from 9am tomorrow (Tuesday, October 19th) from Ticketmaster.ie / 0818 719300 and all usual outlets.
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