Monday 20 November 2017

Boxing: Hyland and Casey ready to face music in all Irish Euro title bout

Bernard O'Neill

THE European super-bantamweight title is one thing -- but the correct walk-in music is another matter entirely.

Limerick southpaw Willie Casey's DolPhil stable are mulling over whether their man should enter the ring to 'Sean South of Garryowen' at the University of Limerick this evening.

Don O'Leary, who heads DolPhil along with Phil Sutcliffe, acknowledged that walking into the squared circle to 'Limerick You're a Lady' might not have the same fist-thumping effect as 'Sean South'.

Given that Prizefighter champ Casey and Dubliner Paul Hyland -- the EU and Irish champion -- are threatening to dismantle each other, O'Leary is probably right.

The Cork promoter also predicted that his stable will land one of the biggest prizes in European boxing this evening.

Casey's Rocky Balboa-like rise to stardom is becoming the stuff of legend and the unbeaten southpaw now has the opportunity to add the most illustrious chapter to the narrative with victory tonight.


Last summer he was called up as a late replacement for former World champion and Olympic silver medalist Wayne McCullough for the Prizefighter super-bantamweight series in London and won the title.

Tonight's clash is the big one, however, and O'Leary is backing his man. "I'm 100pc confident that Willie will win the title," he said. "He will be too strong and too powerful for Paul Hyland and he'll be bringing no negatives into the ring with him.

"I think that Willie will win inside the distance but if it goes to points I'm confident that he will win also. The way I look at if is that if Paul Hyland is standing in front of Willie, he is going to get hit.

"And if he starts running, then how is he going to build up the points? Willie has worked so hard for this. The Limerick Pipe band will lead him in, although we haven't decided on a tune yet."

Meanwhile, Belfast heavyweight Martin Rogan, and Cork-based Cubans Mike Perez and Luis Garcia will also be in action, and Anthony Fitzgerald puts his Irish title on the line versus Lee Murtagh.

Garcia meets ex two-time World champ Byron Mitchell. Alan Donnellan, Jon Fogg, Brendan Fitzpatrick and Gavin Prunty will also feature tonight.

Irish Independent

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