Fagan eyes lightweight shot

by Stephen Findlater
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OISIN Fagan is hopeful that his return to the ring last weekend will help him finally get a shot at Noah Zuhdi for the WBU lightweight title.

Fagan wasted little time in dismissing Andis Didzuz, knocking out his opponent 28 seconds into round two of their bout in Belfast with a straight right through his defences. Earlier, Fagan had twice put Didzuz on the canvas in the first round in a one-sided affair.

It showed little rustiness from Fagan, despite being close three years since his last official bout.

“I took the fight at very short notice,” he told GazetteSport. “I only had four days to prepare and I was a little bit worried my opponent was active up to last month when he knocked someone out. While he wasn’t as experienced as me, I thought that activity would have been a factor. It ended up not being that way.”

Fagan has been hungry to get back in the ring since gaining his licence from the Boxing Union of Ireland last February but has been frustrated by a number of false starts.

Most notably, Chris Goodwin has ducked the Portmarnock man on a couple of occasions. At the third time of asking, they were due to meet in England for the WBF intercontinental title only for Goodwin to be over the weight limit.

“It was horrible. I went over to England and weighed in properly and he couldn’t make the weight. Even though it was for a minor world title, it was still a world title. I was disgusted. I was in really good shape and sparring hard.”

Fagan has now set his sights on Zuhdi, the current lightweight WBU champion, a man who he has long seen as a good option to fight

“I’ve been calling him out for the past year. When I asked him for a title fight, he went and won the WBU title.

“I asked him to defend that against me. His father, who is also his promoter, was saying all the right things about having plenty of respect for me, has now been asked five times to put the title on the line and he keeps on making excuses.

“Now I’m hoping they will get back to me and say ‘you’ve done everything required of you, now you can have a title shot’. But I’ll probably just get another excuse.”

As such, he is looking for options and a couple of bouts soon to make sure he can retain his professional licence without recourse to further medicals.

“I would like to get back in the ring without having to get another licence, medicals done again to the tune of another grand. At the end of the day, it’s professional boxing, I have to make a few quid.”

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