A FIRST professional title will be on offer for James McGivern at The National Stadium in Dublin on April 1 as the Ormeau Road man and Tony McGlynn get to settle their differences after a false start last year.
The pair were due to meet on the undercard of Michael Conlan v Miguel Marriaga at the SSE Arena last August, but the first fell through at the eleventh hour with McGivern and his team unhappy as they claimed the British Boxing Board of Control's mandated weight and rounds limit was at odds with what they had prepared for, while Dublin's McGlynn insisted the Belfast man had cold feet.
There was always an expectation this fight would be revisited and now it is with the BUI Celtic lightweight title up for grabs over eight rounds in what is an intriguing encounter that will serve as an appetiser to Jason Quigley's return to the ring against Denmark's Kim Poulsen - the first time the Donegal man has boxed as a pro on home soil.
The South Belfast man is delighted that the match has been made for a second time and intends to score another win at the Dublin venue where he enjoyed so much amateur success.
"It's a big fight and was meant to happen in Belfast in August and fell through, but we're here now," he said at Friday's press conference.
"It feels like I've been barking on about a Celtic title for years now, so I finally get a go at it in a very familiar setting for me.
"I've boxed at the Stadium a couple of times as an amateur and won here, so I'm ready to rock and roll. I've a nice training camp now to get ready for it."
Laughing all the way to April 1st.— James McGivern (@jamesmcgivern17) February 11, 2023
National Stadium Dublin
I become Celtic champion pic.twitter.com/3PhkDiUkxK
'The Natural' has a perfect record through five contests with McGlynn also undefeated to date and the man from the capital is equally excited for the battle ahead, confirming: "I was sick when it didn't happen in August, but I can't wait now."
Tickets for the event promoted by Elite Sheer have already been in high demand for an exciting card that is topped by Quigley, who lost in a world title against Demetrius Andrade in November 2021.
The Donegal man has had a long layoff since then but is hoping to use this return against Poulsen to get back on track and build towards another title bid.
"Many a great memory was had in here and great achievements, so it will be another great night here on April 1 when I will make another great memory," he said of his long-awaited return to an Irish ring.
"I'm very confident going into this fight. It's been a while out of the ring so it's great to be back in there now. I'm in great shape, everything's looking good and I'm very excited for this one."