Boxing

Jamie Conlan and Paddy Barnes set to feature on Waterfront Hall boxing bill

Jamie Conlan intends to continue his pursuit of a world title in 2017

PADDY BARNES and Marc McCullough will be among the supporting acts as Jamie Conlan headlines Frank Warren’s second Belfast show in four months.

Queensberry Promotions boss Warren says this is a “golden era” for Irish boxing as he confirmed a “night of action-packed boxing” at the Waterfront Hall on Saturday, February 18 which will be televised live and exclusive on BoxNation.

The show - likes Warren’s bill at the Titanic Exhibition Centre in November - will be headlined by Commonwealth Super-Flyweight Champion Conlan who intends to continue his quest for world honours in 2017.

The Irish News understands that the fight - the opponent will be confirmed next week - will not be a world title eliminator for unbeaten Conlan who took his record to 18-0 last year.

It is also understood that double Olympic Games medallist Barnes will get his second professional outing - his first was a scrappy affair that ended with disqualification for Bulgarian hardman Stefan Slavchev - on the card.

So too will fellow MGM fighter McCullough who finished a disappointing 2016 on a high when he stopped Luis Lugo in November to win the WBO Inter-Continental featherweight title and move to 16-3.

Tyrone McKenna, Phil Sutcliffe jnr, Sean Turner, Con Sheehan, Stephen Ormond, Declan Geraghty, Gary Sweeney and Steven Ormond all featured on Warren’s November show at the Titanic Exhibition Centre and will hope to feature again in February. So too will Immaculata ABC-based MGM light-middleweight Alfredo Meli and John Breen-trained prospect Lewis Crocker who was due to make his pro debut in November but missed out through injury.

Warren, a regular visitor to Belfast down the years, said on Thursday: “Belfast is a proud boxing city which always generates an incredible atmosphere at every event.

“The recent Homecoming event on November 5 at the Titanic Exhibition Centre showcased the strength-and-depth of talent in Irish boxing and I believe we are coming into a golden era with Jamie right at the forefront.

“He has a style and determination that never fails to excite and is a great fighter for TV. The atmosphere his fans produce is special and that's why I will do everything possible to make sure we secure Jamie his world title chance in Belfast in 2017.

“He is within touching distance of achieving his lifelong ambition of challenging for and winning a world title and a win on February 18 will take him a huge step closer to his goal.

“Winning the British Boxing Board of Control's 2016 Fight of the Year award cemented his reputation as one of Britain's most exciting fighters and his all-action style has earned him a passionate following in his home city.

“Boasting a flawless record of 18 wins, 11 via knockout, the New Year promises to be a huge one for Conlan and it all begins on February 18th where he will look to produce another electric performance for his tremendous support.”

Meanwhile, entertaining lightweight Paul Hyland jnr will headline Belfast’s first boxing bill of the year on Saturday, February 4 at the Europa Hotel.

The MHD Promotions card also features former British title challenger James Tennyson, Ronnie Clark, Joe Fitzpatrick, Feargal McCrory and Dublin super-welterweight Jay Byrne.

VIP Ringside, including a four-course meal, tickets are £75, reserved ringside (£45), unreserved (£35). Contact the boxers or Mark Dunlop on 07712473905 or mark@mhdpromotions.com.

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