Feargal McCrory takes on Karl Kelly for Irish lightweight title

James Tennyson takes on unbeaten Garry Neale at the Ulster Hall tonight. Picture Mark Marlow
Andy Watters

Vacant BUI Ireland National Lightweight Title: Feargal McCrory (9-0) v Karl Kelly (2-2)

JAMES Tennyson begins a new chapter at lightweight in tonight's main event on the MHD Promotions' ‘Night to Remember' card at the Ulster Hall.

Tennyson, a British title challenger at featherweight and an Irish and Commonwealth champion and world title challenger at super-feather, intends to go even further at 9st 6lbs, starting with unbeaten Garry Neale tonight.

“We'll see how we get on, I made the weight handy enough,” said Tennyson at yesterday's weigh-in.

“I was eating yesterday but before it was a real struggle. It was a real push so this time I'm feeling a lot more comfortable.

“I'm filling out, getting bigger and stronger and I'm not going to kill myself trying to make super-featherweight. I'm comfortable at lightweight.”

He added: “I want to get a win.

“It's a comeback fight and I didn't want a pushover opponent, he's 10-0 and he's come over to win – he knows a win could change his career. I've trained hard and I'm ready to go. I just want to get a win and get myself going again.”

In the pick of the undercard fights, Coalisland native Feargal McCrory takes on Karl Kelly for the vacant BUI Ireland National Lightweight title.

McCrory has been sparring in Philadelphia this year and he intends to return to super-featherweight after tonight's fight. He made his pro debut three years ago so he has served his time and wants to kick on with his career.

“My apprenticeship is done and I genuinely believe that I will put in a good performance tomorrow night,” he said.

“I hope Karl Kelly does as well. He is hungry and fit but I'm hungry and fit and the two of us want this so much, it'll be a great fight.”

Dun Laoghaire native Kelly added: “It's a dream come true.

“We have our gameplan together. It's Dublin v Tyrone, north versus south. I'm jumping straight in the deepend, hopefully I can get to him. I always start fast, I'm set for 10 rounds and may the best man win.”

With whispers of a fight with British super-featherweight champ Sam Bowen doing the rounds, ‘Fearless' will be determined to impress tonight. Kelly will come and have a go but John Breen-trained McCrory should have too much for him.

Tommy McCarthy takes on Jiri Svacina tonight. He has already signed to fight Londoner Richard Riakporhe (8-0) for the WBA Inter-Continental Cruiserweight title on March 2.

“I'm trying to concentrate on this and put March the 2nd to the back of my mind,” he said.

“I need to get through this unscathed and then I can focus fully on Riakporhe. The year is off to a flier, my father-in-law Kieran Long said to me if somebody had said this was the way my year was gonna start I'd be over the moon so I'm happy with the way things are coming into play. It's up to me to deliver.”

Paul Hyland jnr bounced back from his British title loss to Lewis Ritson last year with a win in October. He is targeting another shot at the Lonsdale belt this year, starting with tonight's match against Miroslav Serban.

Meanwhile, 18 years after John Breen-trained Deirdre Nelson fought there, Cathy McAleer flies the flag for ladies' boxing at the Ulster Hall tonight.

“I'm the only female professional in Northern Ireland so it's a big privilege for me and a big privilege to fight in the Ulster Hall,” said the former Bredagh and Down Ladies' footballer.

“I fought there twice before in kick boxing and it's an unbelievable venue with a great atmosphere and I'm really looking forward to it.”

Lightweight: James Tennyson (22-3) v Garry Neale (10-0)

Vacant BUI Ireland National Lightweight Title: Feargal McCrory (9-0) v Karl Kelly (2-2)

Lightweight: Paul Hyland Jnr (19-1) v Miroslav Serban (10-1)

Cruiserweight: Tommy McCarthy (12-1) v Jiri Svacina (13-33)

Super-flyweight: Luke Wilton (19-5-1) v Patrik Bartos (14-19)

Super-featherweight: Mathew Fitzsimons (3-1) v Jamie Quinn (4-75-2)

Super-flyweight: Cathy McAleer (1-0) v Sonia Klos (0-4)

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