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Fury opponent promises ‘backyard brawl’

By David Mohan

BIG time boxing makes its second appearance in seven days in Belfast when British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion Tyson Fury headlines a fantastic bill at the King’s Hall on Saturday.

The 6’9’’ Irish star takes on Nicolai Firtha over 12 rounds in a match-up that could produce fireworks at the legendary Belfast venue. Fury is no stranger to Belfast having represented the Holy Family club as an amateur and said he is delighted to be back in the city where he hopes to top the bill for years to come.

“It means a lot to me to fight in Belfast because I boxed for the Holy Family club,” he said.

“Hopefully I get over this fight because I want to get back over here in November for another fight.

“If this all goes well I will be back for another big fight against maybe the European champion Dimitrenko or someone like that.”

While the name of his opponent may not sound particularly Irish, Ohio based slugger Firtha actually does have relations from Clare and Kerry and said he will have relatives present on the night.

He revealed he will be wearing trunks that are a tribute to his late father and is hoping to honour his memory by putting in a big performance on Saturday.

“I got in touch with family over here and they know I have been fighting as a pro for seven years now,” said the American heavyweight champion.

“I was meant to come over a couple of years ago but it just wasn’t the right time in my career but now it is a good time.

“I will be wearing very symbolic trunks on Saturday. I wore them four years ago just a week before my father passed and I lost the fight.

“I brought those shorts over with me and I made a promise to myself I would never lose again while I’m wearing them so this is a very symbolic fight for me. This is a big fight and I’m looking forward to a good backyard brawl and I can’t wait for it.”

Both boxers were present at the Kennedy Centre yesterday (Wednesday) for a Wii boxing challenge while the weigh-in will also take place at the West Belfast shopping centre on Friday at 12.30pm.

However, this is jus the tip of the West Belfast connection to the Kings Hall bill as there are a number of local boxers in action.  Dee Walsh will make is professional debut against Gerard Healy while Tommy Tolan will also be in action against Joe Hillerby. Limerick’s Willie ‘Big Bang’ Casey also makes his return to action with a contest against Daniel Kodjo Sasssou.


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