Seconds Out: St Patrick’s weekend fight nights around the globe serve up a feast of action for Irish boxing fans

Dillian Whyte returns in Castlebar, Colm Murphy heads West, Hyde-McCarthy square up in USA...

Thomas Carty swapped GAA for boxing and has his third professional fight on Saturday night. Picture: Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing
Dublin heavyweight Thomas Carty is in action in Castlebar on Saturday night. Picture: Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing

COLM Murphy fights outside of Belfast for the first time in what should be a coming-of-age step-up against experienced African Tampela Maharusi in Salthill, Co Galway on Saturday night.

Murphy has moved to 10-0 as a professional over the last three years, building off an amateur boxing platform that saw him beat the likes of JP Hale and Jude Gallagher, who is now on the verge of a place at this summer’s Paris Olympic Games.

Now an experienced pro, Belfast’s ‘Posh Boy’ intends to take the scalp of dangerous hitter Maharusi and his manager Mark Dunlop is confident that his all-action featherweight will do the business in Galway.

“It’s a good fight for Colm,” said Dunlop.

“This guy Maharusi is the real deal and he’s well ranked – much higher than Colm - so we’re going to go and get his ranking. A fight like this will really push Colm up the rankings, he’s keen to push on and get better tests and this guy is ranked 70-80 places above him so this is a good fight for him.

“Colm was a brilliant amateur and he has 10 pro fights under his belt now so we’re confident we can go down there and get the win. It’s the first time he’s boxed outside of Belfast so it’s about experience as well, it’ll stand to us when we go across the water for bigger tests.”

Also in action in Galway is USA-born light-heavyweight Thomas O’Toole, who makes his Irish debut on the card, while former super-middleweight challenger Luke Keeler returns to action. Keeler has been linked to a Falls Park rumble with Pody McCrory at Feile an Phobail in the summer.

Saturday, March 16, Salthill Leisureland Complex, Galway

Featherweight: Colm Murphy (10-0) v Tampela Maharusi (10-3-4)

Light-heavyweight: Thomas O’Toole (8-0) v Hussein Itaba (16-7-3)

Super-middleweight: Luke Keeler (18-3-1) Godfrey Paulo Kamata (10-11-2)

Lightweight: Shauna O’Keeffe (1-0) v Angelika Oles (2-10)

Flyweight: Kate Radomska (3-3) v Klaudia Ferenczi (20-109-10)

Light-heavyweight: Rhys Moran (1-1) v Harry Matthews (17-77-7)

Super-middleweight: Cathal Crowley (3-0) v TBC

Dillian Whyte floors Joseph Parker during their prior to his WBC Silver Heavyweight title and WBO International Heavyweight title at the O2 Arena on Saturday night
Dillian Whyte returns to action in county Mayo this weekend

HEAVYWEIGHT Dillian Whyte returns to the ring to face Christian Hammer on the ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’ bill in Castlebar, Co Mayo on Sunday.

Whyte, who recorded wins against Joseph Parker, Derick Chisora and Alexander Povetkin before he was banned after failing a dug test, has been cleared to continue his career after an investigation confirmed that the positive drug test was caused by a contaminated supplement before a rematch with Anthony Joshua was cancelled last August.

The former WBC interim heavyweight champion resumes his career against Germany’s Hammer, who has mixed at the top level and previously shared a ring with Tyson Fury, Povetkin and Luis Ortiz.

“I’m just glad to be back, doing what I love doing. I’m not getting any younger,” Whyte said.

“Obviously there’s a lot of good fights going on. I just want to get back in the mix. I still want to fight all of these guys and show that I’m still one of the best heavyweights around.”

Also on the card is Dublin heavyweight Thomas Carty who has been sparring with Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua and is expected to produce fireworks against durable Pavel Sour.

Sunday, March 17 at The Royal Hotel, Castlebar

Super-lightweight: Ray Moylette (13-2-1) v Jake Tinklin (11-2)

Middleweight: Gary O’Sullivan (31-5) v TBC

Heavyweight: Thomas Carty (7-0) v Pavel Sour (19-19)

Super-welterweight: Daniel O’Sullivan (3-0) v Martin Balog (4-2-1)

Super-welterweight: Sedem Ama (2-0) v Ester Konecna (4-26-2)

Middleweight: Craig O’Brien (13-3) v Remi Scholer (3-9)

Heavyweight: Dillian Whyte (29-3) v Christian Hammer (27-10)

Busy Belfast referee David Irving has officiated on over 50 fights this year
Belfast referee David Irving takes charge of the action in Redwood, California

UNDEFEATED super-middleweight prospect Tommy Hyde (7-0) will be fighting for this first title as a professional boxer on Saturday in Redwood City, California.

The 24-year-old Cork native will challenge fellow Irishman, Craig McCarthy (10-1-1, 2 KOs), the defending Boxing Union of Ireland Celtic Super-Middleweight champion, in the eight-round main event on a card presented by Westside Promotions. Belfast referee David Irving will take charge of the action.

“McCarthy is a southpaw, fit and always in top shape, and he always comes to fight. He won his title at home on a show I was on in my fourth pro fight,” Hyde, AKA ‘The Governor’ said.

“I was watching his fight with my coach, and he said: ‘We’ll get him next year’ and here we are!

“I’m a boxer but if we get in the centre of the ring, I’ll go toe-to-toe with him, and that will really get the Irish fans into it. It’s going to be a good night on St Patrick’s Day Eve, the parade is on the same day as the show but in the afternoon.”

Like many fighters from the Emerald Isle, including Michael Conlan, Wayne McCullagh, Steve Collins, John Duddy, Kevin McBride, 2023 Irish Prospect of the Year Hyde is now training in the United States.

He has had a six-week training camp preparing for this Saturday’s fight in Santa Monica under the direction of head trainer Pedro Nemes.

“Every camp has been different,” Hyde said.

“I’m obsessed with learning every day and it’s been that way here. I’m getting on great with Pedro.”

A celebrated amateur, Hyde participated in more than 100 amateur contests, reached the quarter-finals of the World Junior Championships in 2015, in addition to capturing three Irish National Championships, three Celtic Cup titles and the 2019 Haringey Box Cup.

Hyde’s pro career is right on track.

“It’s exactly what we set out to do,” he said.

“We wanted seven six-rounders in my first year and got it. Then, the step-up this year to fight for a title in eight-rounders and 10 (rounders) by the end of this year. The plan is to collect titles and names and stay busy this year, fighting at my second home in Boston, then San Francisco again and back home in Cork.”

Kilkenny native Brandon McCarthy will hope to impress on the undercard.

Elsewhere on a busy weekend for Irish fighters, Kerry’s Kevin Cronin takes on Patrick Pierre in Dorchester, Massachusetts and Australia-based Newry light-heavyweight Conor Wallace (12-1) takes on Jack Gipp in Brisbane.