HE may have one eye on next month’s ‘Last Man Standing’ middleweight tournament on March 3 in Dublin, but Gerard Healy has some work to do first at The Devenish this Saturday as he takes on Iain Jackson over four rounds.
‘Boom Boom’ had initially been overlooked for the Prizefighter-esque event next month, but a number of withdrawals opened the door for the 34 year-old Lenadoon man to take part and potentially earn a huge purse while opening the door to title opportunities.
That is all in the future as this weekend, Brighton’s Jackson comes to town in what should be a good warm up ahead of Last Man Standing.
“This is the busiest time I’ve ever had in my career,” said Healy.
“I’m just working away, had a bit of a break over Christmas and then I was offered this fight because it didn’t look like I was going to be on Last Man Standing. They then got back to me, so I’m buzzing about it now.”
The plan is pretty straightforward this weekend, box well, dust off the cobwebs that have built up after 10 months out of the ring, get a win and come through unscathed.
That ought to be how this Saturday pans out and Healy is aware it is a risk boxing so close to Last Man Standing, but one he feels he needs to take to get himself back in the groove and admits it will not be a gung ho performance on Saturday.
“I can’t look past Iain Jackson this weekend because he is a tough man and I have to come through this one,” he agrees.
“I just don’t want to get into any exchanges with him. I have spoken to him a couple of times before when he’s been here before, he just boxes off the back foot and tries to catch you with that one-two, but I want to get the rounds in anyway. Rounds are important at this stage.
“I don’t want to be getting involved, I just want a bit of a fast pace here and try to box. Hopefully I don’t get any cuts as this (Last Man standing) is the biggest stage of my career, but it’s a fight I needed to take to get the cobwebs off and get the rounds in.”
Training has been ramped up in recent weeks since getting the call for March 3 and rounds in the ring will benefit his preparations as well as the sparring he has been getting in the lead-up.
“It’s good to get a few rounds under my belt so I knew I needed to take this fight as it gets me ready for Last Man Standing,” he continued.
“I have been training hard now with Ray (Ginley), Mark (Ginley) and Joe Keenan. They’ve been pushing me to the limit and I have had some good sparring. I sparred Jay Byrne at the weekend there so four rounds with him are like eight.”