Dublin set to host first professional boxing card in almost four years at the National Stadium 

Rising from the ASHES!

by Jonny Stapleton
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A ‘Rising Out of the Ashes’ fight night will light up the National Stadium on Saturday night as Tony Davitt Promotions and Elite Sports Promotions team up with Carl Greaves Promotions to run a pro fight card at the home of Irish boxing for the first time since 2019.

The Dublin card will be the first pro boxing bill to play out in Ireland, outside of Belfast, since a show in Cork in July of 2019 and the first time Dublin will see a professional fight night since the ‘Clash of the Titans’ card in March of that same year.

Topping the bill will be popular inner-city fighter Craig O’Brien, who fights in Dublin for the first time since he won the Irish light middleweight title at the same venue live on TG4 in 2018.

The bout is ‘The Iron’s’ first in over a year and just his third in three years. The 33-year-old admits he considered retirement during a difficult period for Irish pros and reveals that he could have left the sport content with everything he achieved and happy boxing had helped turn his life around. 

However, after being offered the chance to top a card and to inject some momentum into his career the youth worker is ready for one final pro assault. 

“I was in and out of the gym hoping for a date but there were no shows,” O’Brien says. “If I didn’t fight again, it wouldn’t have bothered me. I was only 33 last month but you can’t do it for ever and boxing has been great to me since I turned over in 2015. I’ve had a good career. Then this came about, eight rounder, headline, a possibility to come back next year and build, so I was like ok. 

“I spoke to Tony [Davitt] and he wants to go again in March or April, so if I win on November 19 it could be an all-Irish fight or another headline fight and then over the space of a year of 15 months get a bit of momentum. I only boxed three times in three years, no momentum at all, you need to be busy.”

With regular fights O’Brien is confident he can make an impact particularly on a reinvigorated domestic scene.

“I think I can do well with momentum, the busier you get the better you are. I still think I’m fresh, if you look at my last fight I boxed well. I was ahead on the scorecards, if it had gone the distance I’d have beaten him, but I got caught with that shot. I think I can compete at a good level once I’m kept busy, stopping and starting, starting and stopping is no good for me.”

Kenneth Egan will make a return to the venue he made his own on a record equaling 10 Elite title run when he mans the corner of Clondalkin native Dylan Wilson on the bill.

Willson, a kickboxing convert, fights for just the fourth time as a pro on the 11 fight bill and is delighted to have the Olympic medal winner and close mate Finbarr Thompson in his corner.

“It’s brilliant and great for confidence,” he responds when asked about Egan coaching him. 

“The other person in my corner is one of my best mates, he’s a long friend and we are training together years, we trained each other too. 

“So having a best mate who has a wealth of experience and Kenneth Egan I’ve a bit of dream team. To walk back into the Stadium and having Kenny in the corner is something cool,” he adds before predicting a stoppage. “I’m due a stoppage, everyone is saying it. My body shots are ringing in and I’ve dropped a few opponents as well. I think a body shot stoppage just may come.”

Daniel O’Sullivan, who like O’Brien is trained by Pascal Collins, and Crumlin graduate Robbie Burke add further Dublin interest to the bill.

 ‘Sugar’ Ray Moylette appears for the first time since he lost to Dalton Smith on a Matchroom card.

Continuing their development are unbeaten prospects, Brett McGinty, Liam ‘The Kingdom Kid’ Walsh, ‘Danny Boy’ Keating and  Cathal Crowley will be making his pro debut. 

Caption: Clondalkin’s Dylan Wilson, a convert from kickboxing, will have former  Olympic silver medalist Kenneth Egan in his corner when he fights on Saturday at the National Stadium. 

Featured Image: Rising Out Of The Ashes Again Fight Night Media Day, Celtic Warriors Gym, Corduff, Dylan Wilson
Photo: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

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