‘Celtic Clash 6’ announced for June 16 in Drimnagh, Dublin

RINGSIDE 12/05/2018

The popular Celtic Clash series will return to Dublin next month for a sixth show in under 13 months. The Boxing Ireland Promotions and Tony Davitt Promotions venture will take over the Good Counsel GAA Club once again on Saturday June 16th for ‘Celtic Clash 6’.

It is a return to the atmospheric Drimnagh venue following the successful ‘Celtic Clash 5’ card which was headlined by a ‘fight for the ages’ between Stephen McAfee and Colin O’Donovan. The two rematched for the BUI Celtic super featherweight title that night in an epic slugfest edged by McAfee and drawing widespread plaudits – including a rare five-star rating from the esteemed Boxing News magazine. Fight of the Year is an understatement.

O’Donovan, who some felt was unlucky that night in March, returns here for a second shot at a title. The eccentric Cork fighter will drop down two weight divisions to challenge for the vacant BUI Celtic super bantamweight title. The fight-anyone Youghal boxer is faced with a tough test though in managerial stablemate Carl McDonald – himself a proponent of the ‘anyone, anywhere, anytime’ mantra.

Just last week McDonald stepped in on two days notice, and up two weight divisions, to face 19-0 English hot prospect Jordan Gill on the massive Tony Bellew vs David Haye Pay-Per-View undercard at the O2 Arena in London. While he didn’t win on the night, the big-hearted Tallaght man gave Gill plenty to think about, enjoying a fair share of success in the later rounds of what has been his best performance to date – although ‘The Cobra’ will be looking to kick it up a notch again on June 16th.

While a BUI Celtic champion will be crowned at 122lbs, it will be the titleholder at the weight above who will headline the old-school bill. Kildare featherweight Eric Donovan returns from a finger injury for his eighth professional fight and one which he hopes will propel him into the European Union and perhaps even the European rankings.

The five-time Irish champion and European and EU bronze medallist has set his sights on new EU champion Andoni Gago of Spain and will be looking to make a statement in D12 next month. A step-up is being planned for ‘Lilywhite Lightning’ with a former major title challenger set to be brought in for the eight-round test.

There is also a packed undercard currently in formation. So far confirmed is an intriguing six-round battle between inner-city Dublin welter Keane McMahon and gritty Cork-based South African Jade Karam. The silky smooth ‘Ice Man’ McMahon may only have three fights under his belt but is desperate to be progressed and is taking an early step-up. Karam, a former Gauteng Provincial champion up at middleweight, will be looking to stop McMahon in his tracks as well as make amends for an early knockout loss in his last contest.

McMahon and his team are aiming for domestic titles in the near future and so is another Dublin welterweight and potential rival – Lucan’s John Joyce. The Irish Army corporal, despite a limited amateur career, carved himself out a spot as one of the stand-out debutants of 2017 with his aggressive body-punching style and a whallop which veteran coach Davitt says is something special.

A third welter is also set to feature in Dubai-based Waterford banger Rohan Daté. The Déise puncher turned heads with a sensational 30-second stoppage of Karam back in February. A former top amateur, Daté faces another test here in Angel Emilov. The Bulgarian is well-known for causing shocks and upset Cork-Londoner Dan-Dan Keenan back in October as well as giving Scouser Tom Farrell an uncomfortable night in his most recent fight.

Ballybrack lightweight Niall O’Connor is another who makes a step-up and will fight over six rounds for the first time. The stylish puncher has scored two successive knockouts – knocking his opponent down with his first punch last time – and the crowd-pleaser is eager to make his way up into domestic battles which will entertain

Further down the card there are also slots for Cavan light middleweight Owen Duffy and Congolese light heavy Christian Scuvie – both of whom debuted on Celtic Clash 5. Big hitter Scuvie, following a stressful week which almost saw his debut called off due to licencing issues, overcame a tricky first opponent while the well-supported Duffy made a huge statement with an early knockout. As well as this, there is a return for Crumlin super featherweight Aiden Metcalfe who is finally back in the ring following nose surgery and will be aiming to build on an exciting debut win last year.

Boxing Ireland Promotions boss Leonard Gunning said that “after an unbelievable atmosphere at Celtic Clash 5, we are returning to Good Counsel and we are going to ram it out. It’s guarentee to be real cracker of a show.”

“I believe Eric would beat Andoni Gago tomorrow but he needs another fight before he can be considered for the rankings. We are going to give him a test and, when he passes it, we will be doing are utmost to bring Gago to Ireland.”

“Carl McDonald vs Colin O’Donovan is a great fight too. Colin is one of the most exciting fighters in Ireland and Carl’s status has gone up massively after the weekend. I can’t wait for that one.”

“It’s a big bill with a lot more fights than last time. We’ll be getting the lads out, keeping them very busy before the Summer holidays, then there are big plans for the second half of 2017.”

Also featuring on the ‘Celtic Clash 5’ undercard alongside Duffy will be Ballybrack lightweight Niall O’Connor, Lucan welterweight John Joyce, Jobstown super bantamweight Carl McDonald, Blanchardstown cruiserweight debutant Chris Scuvie, Crumlin lightweight Martin Quinn, and Smithfield welterweight Keane McMahon.

Tickets for the fight night are priced at €55 (ringside), €35 (unreserved) and are available from the boxers involved or by calling 085 248 3929.