Boxing

Steven Ward takes on Liam Conroy for the vacant WBO European light-heavyweight title.

Steven Ward and Liam Conroy ahead of their fight at the Ulster Hall. Picture Mark Marlow.
Andy Watters

Boxing: WBC International Super-lightweight title: Tyrone McKenna (18-1-1) v Darragh Foley (17-13-1) (tonight, Ulster Hall, live on ESPN+ & iFL TV)

STEVEN Ward headlines a stacked bill at the Ulster Hall tonight when he takes on Liam Conroy for the vacant WBO European light-heavyweight title.

Conroy (17-4-1) was knocked out by hard-hitting Joshua Buatsi after three rounds of their British title rumble in March but he intends to recover lost ground against ‘The Quiet Man’ tonight. The Englishman is busy, game and confident and but Jamie Moore-trained Ward looked in great form in his last outing at the Ulster Hall – against Josip Perkovic – and he will hope to utilise that slick movement and devastating body-punching again at the popular Bedford Street venue.

“I want to keep moving forward and moving up,” he said.

“Liam Conroy has been where I want to be at British level and beyond, so all being well I’ll get past this fight and I’m sure I can push on for that level after this.”

Former English champion Conroy countered: “This is not personal for me.

“I’m not going to say anything bad about him as this is just a sport and I’m here to box to my best and bring that title back to Barrow.

“We’re both family people and down to earth. I don’t know him well enough to say how similar we are, but as fighters I think our styles blend well.

“We had a lot of good spars that were always fairly close, so it looks like it’ll be a good fight on Friday.”

In the chief support, Dubliner Darragh Foley predicts there’ll be a “new king in town” when he beats home favourite Tyrone McKenna in an all-Ireland battle for the vacant WBC International super-lightweight title.

“There’s going to be a new king in town on Friday night,” he boasted this week.

“I was listening to McKenna’s interview talking about the fans backing him, but it’s all just noise and I’m going to enjoy that great atmosphere.

“We’re two fighting men, and there’s no need to add any spice to it. People will be talking about this fight for a long time, so may the best man win.”

McKenna will have advantages in height and reach tonight but, as he freely admits, he loves a scrap and Australia-based Foley will not have to go looking for him tonight.

“We’ll be having a war and will be in the trenches,” said ‘Mighty Celt’ McKenna.

“I’ve prepared for an exciting fan friendly fight and that’s what I think will happen. He was ranked fifth in the world at one stage, so he’s a good fighter, and if I come through this like I’m expecting to then I should be looking at high ranked fighters after that. I want to push on soon.”

Friday night’s bill.

WBC International Super-lightweight title: Tyrone McKenna (18-1-1) v Darragh Foley (17-13-1)

Vacant WBO European Light Heavyweight title: Steven Ward (11-0) v Liam Conroy (17-4-1)

Welterweight: Lewis Crocker (8-0) v Karim Aliliche (11-8-2)

Welterweight: Paddy Gallagher (15-5) v Liam Wells (5-0)

Middleweight: Caoimhin Agyarko (3-0) v Paul Allison (6-2-1)

Super-middleweight: Taylor McGoldrick (3-0) v Genndai Stserbin (1-4)

Super-welterweight: Owen O'Neill (1-0) v Geiboord Omier (4-40-1)

 

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