Warriors on the march for titles

by Stephen Findlater
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THE CELTIC Warrior Gym in Corduff looks set for an incredibly busy few months after several of Paschal Collins’s stable made eye-catching announcements in the past week in their pursuit of world titles.

Chief among them was the announcement that rising prospect Jono Carroll has been signed up by Matchroom, the promotion company run by Eddie Hearn that works in partnership with Sky Sports.

Carroll has had an amazing couple of months since surprising Declan Geraghty on the undercard of the Return of the Mack night in the 3Arena at the back end of 2014. He followed up with victory in the Prizefighter event to further push his claims as a prospect and he now has a guaranteed five fights a year to allow him to push on.

Fellow Celtic Warrior Stephen Ormond, meanwhile, will push his claims for a world title fight on Valentine’s Day when he defends his WBO European title against Terry Flanagan in the Civic Hotel in Wolverhampton.

The lightweight has been waiting since April in 2014 for this second defence after last December’s bout with Flanagan was called off at late notice due to a virus.

Flanagan brings with him a perfect 26-fight record, making this a big outing for both fighters as they look to move a step closer to a WBO world title shot.

“It’s a big opportunity for me and I am going to grab it with both hands. The gym is buzzing for it now,” Ormond says of the upcoming contest. “This is the kind of fight I need. I need a good test and I believe it’s going to be a good fight and a good opportunity for both of us.”

Also on Valentine’s night, Luke Keeler will be looking to follow in Carroll’s footsteps and win a Prizefighter title as he takes to the ring in Blackpool. With a perfect record to date, the stylist will have Steve Collins Senior in his corner due to the clash of times as regular corner man Paschal will be with Ormond in Wolverhampton.

A week later, Steve Collins Junior – son of former world champion of the same name – will face the vastly experienced Ugandan Moses Matovu at the Red Cow on February 20 in his Dublin debut as the big nights keep coming.

And Spike O’Sullivan is looking forward to a trip to the US to fight in Madison Square Garden. His opponent has yet to be confirmed but is likely to be a high ranked American.

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