independent

Wednesday 25 April 2018

Whitehouse is ready to 'Crank' up the pressure

Popular Ballybriggan fighter eyeing shot at the Irish title

Gerard 'Crank' Whitehouse takes another huge step towards a professional title fight this Saturday as the popular Balbriggan fighter returns to the ring at the National Stadium.

On the 'Celtic Clash 3: Building Champions' card run by Boxing Ireland and Tony Davitt, Whitehouse will engage in his third six-round contest on a night headlined by the big Eric Donovan v Dai Davies clash for the vacant BUI Celtic featherweight title.

Whitehouse is hoping that a victory in one of the show's chief support bouts - he takes on Hungary's Georgo Bari (21 wins, 9 losses) - will put him in line for the welterweight version of the belt.

Indeed, the Bracken Boxing Club man believes he is even ready for the next rung on the ladder - the Irish title.

He claimed: 'I think I'm ready now for the Irish title. I'm looking at all the welterweights in Ireland and I think that, if I perform to the best of my ability, I'm up there with any of them, if not ahead of them.

'I can see it in myself, I can see it in the gym, in my spars. I'm ready to go.'

Equally adept at boxing at range or mixing it up, Whitehouse scored a comfortable win in his last outing in May, easily outpointed Gabor Kovas.

Recalling his performance in his sixth professional bout, he said: 'The fight went well. It was a good performance. The whole team was happy. I caught him at the end of the first round which shook him and it put him on the back foot for rest of the fight - he wouldn't stand and trade.

'I didn't do much wrong. If anything I could have upped the pace and got the stoppage.'

Ever since, Whitehouse has been training hard with coach David Sadleir, getting hard sparring in with fellow Dublin pros such as John Joyce, Keane McMahon and Niall O'Connor.

He will be well prepared for his third consecutive fight at the home of Irish boxing and noted: 'Fitness is never a problem with me, I train very hard and I'll be ready for the task ahead.

'If you look at the fellas I've been matched with, they've not been knock-overs. You learn nothing going out and knocking a fella out in a round or two. Yeah, it's great to get the knockout, and it's great for the crowd to see you knocking someone out - but you don't learn anything from it.

'You can say 'you can get rounds in sparring, and experience in the gym', but you can't. You can't experience the fight, with the t-shirt off, and them little gloves, and to have a row and a good boxing match. You can't experience that anywhere else other than just getting in and doing it.'

Whitehouse (22), a cousin of former World champion and Olympian Andy Lee and a bronze medallist himself at the European Schoolboy Championships, was plucked for the pros by veteran manager Davitt and seems primed to make the next step.

'Since I've been a kid, 16 or 17, I've been boxing men and beating them, winning major titles. Going back on my amateur career, I've fought at a high level for a very long time. Tony has a plan set out for me, so whoever he puts in front of me I'll fight.'

Headlined by the Eric Donovan v Dai Davies BUI Celtic featherweight title fight, the 'Celtic Clash 3: Building Champions' card also features Regan Buckley v Carl McDonald, Anto Cacace, Stephen McAfee, Martin Quinn, Aiden Metcalfe, Dylan McDonagh, Colin O'Donovan, Chris Mullally, Michael Gallagher, Keane McMahon, John Joyce and Bernard Roe.

Tickets for the show cost €30 (Balcony), €40 (Gallery), €60 (Ringside), €100 (VIP Premium), and €15 (Under-15s gallery - must be bought alongside an adult ticket) and are available to buy from Gerard at 089-2357211 or online at Ticketmaster.ie.

Fingal Independent

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