Conor Quinn can follow in the footsteps of Rinty, Dave Boy, Hugh Russell and Kelly and go all the way to a world title predicts Queensbury boss Frank Warren

Irving to referee Irish title clash in California * Serrano wants Katie Taylor rematch

Conor Quinn was told he might never box again but on Saturday night he tangles with Juan Hinostroza
Conor Quinn was told he might never box again but Frank Warren believes he can become a world champion

CONOR Quinn has a way to go before he can be added to a list of the great Irish flyweights which includes Rinty Monaghan, Hugh Russell, Dave Boy McCauley and Damaen Kelly.

But signing with Frank Warren’s Queensbury Boxing stable last week is proof that ‘The Magnificent’ is well on his way.

It was Carl Frampton who tipped Warren off about the precocious talents of former Clonard ABC amateur star Quinn who moved to 9-0-1 as a professional with a stoppage win against experienced Jemsi Kibazange last month.

Dedicated and motivated, Dee Walsh-trained Quinn can box, carries in both hands power and has the ring IQ to go with his talent. With 10 fights behind him, he is ready for a step up in class and Warren expects him to go all the way to a world title.

“Conor is a quality young fighter and a good operator so when the chance came to work with him, Queensberry jumped at it,” he said.

“I look forward to securing his first title with us in the spring and pushing towards a world title that I have every confidence his talents can see him win. If all goes to plan we will promise some big nights in Belfast and a star to match those nights involving Carl himself.

“I look forward to working closely with Mark Dunlop (Quinn’s manager) and Conor to achieve those goals.”

Dunlop, a tireless worker for Irish boxing in general and the Belfast scene in particular, guided James Tennyson to a world title shot and intends to do the same with Quinn.

“Conor is a very dedicated young man with a ferocious appetite for success,” he said.

“He has a huge fanbase, an exciting style and a knockout punch and this well-mannered young man has all the tools to propel himself to the next level and joining a list of legendary Northern Ireland flyweight greats.”

Understandably, Quinn says he “can’t wait to get started” with Warren. After starting his professional career in Australia, he feared he might never box again due to an issue with the brain scan he required for a boxer’s licence. However, the issue was resolved and he was cleared to fight and is looking forward to kicking on to the next stage of a very promising career.

“When I contacted Mark Dunlop with the view to returning home from Australia to join his stable of fighters he told me not only everything he could do for me,” he said.

“He has delivered all of those promises and now it’s up to me to repay his patience and deliver my promises. I have a great team around me including my coaches Dee Walsh, Peter Graham and Sean Crowe and together with the guidance of the Frank Warren and Queensberry. I can promise some amazing nights for Irish fans and I can’t wait to get started.”

Busy Belfast referee David Irving has officiated on over 50 fights this year
Busy Belfast referee David Irving will officiate McCarthy-Hyde in Redwood, California

BELFAST referee David Irving will referee the BUI Celtic super-middleweight title fight between unbeaten Cork native Tommy Hyde and Waterford southpaw Craig McCarthy (10-1-1) at the Fox Theatre in Redwood, California on March 16.

Irving, a former professional fighter who featured on the undercards of some of Barry McGuigan’s most famous glory nights in the 1980s, is now a respected and busy referee who has already officiated at bills in Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia this year.

McCarthy out-pointed Graham McCormack to win the BUI super-middleweight belt in his native Waterford in April last year. He hasn’t fought competitively since but Hyde was very busy throughout 2023, racking up six victories to take his record to 7-0 and get him this shot at McCarthy’s title.

Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano won't meet again in May
Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano fought in New York two years' ago and Serrano wants a rematch

AMANDA Serrano said she was “100 per cent” interested in a rematch with Katie Taylor but the Puerto Rican world featherweight champion was forced her to pull out of Saturday’s title defence against Nine Meinke after she was almost blinded by chemicals in her braiding gel.

Serrano, the main event on the card in San Juan, cancelled the bout after failing a medical test with the doctor ruling that she risked losing her sight by fighting.

“I wanted to fight in front of my people,” said the 35-year-old who lost to Taylor in a thriller at Madison Square Garden two years’ ago.

“I am so sorry from the bottom of my heart. I can barely see out of my eye. I was ready to fight, all real fighters would have been. The (doctor) said ‘No’ and that devastated me. I had an allergic reaction to the chemicals in the braiding gel.”

Since the Serrano clash, Taylor has locked horns with England’s Chantelle Cameron, losing the first meeting in March last year but avenging the defeat in September. A trilogy fight in Dublin is the focus for Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn.

“We want to make the Chantelle Cameron fight, that’s important to us,” he said.

“There are a couple of other opponents who are being looked at but that’s only if we do an interim fight first and then move into an outdoor fight in the back-end of the summer.”

That means Serrano, who has been campaigning at featherweight for the last two years, will have to bide her time but she insisted that a rematch with Taylor – who won the first meeting on split decision in New York – is very much on her radar.

“I 100 per cent want the rematch,” she said.

“I am going to have my team reach out to her team. We definitely want that fight and I think it’s a fight everyone wants to see. I think the rematch would be even better than the first fight. She’s definitely on my radar. I think I have the power and the knowledge now to go out there and maybe stop her this time.”