BOXING: Belfast’s Alfredo Meli looking to impress at ‘Last Man Standing’ in Dublin on March 3

Alfredo Meli (right) in action against Conrad Cummings

Alfredo Meli is determined to emulate former sparring partner Éammon O’Kane’s ‘Prizefighter’ success by ensuring that he is the ‘Last Man Standing’ in Dublin on March 3.

Belfast middleweight Meli was on Wednesday confirmed as a participant in the inaugural ‘Last Man Standing’ tournament, promoted by Red Corner Promotions and Assassin Boxing, which will take place at the National Stadium in Ireland’s capital.

The 27-year-old is one of eight fighters set to compete in the tournament, which will see the participants compete in a ‘Prizefighter’-style format over three-round fights.

Meli’s Immaculata gym-mate O’Kane won the only Irish ‘Prizefighter’ to take place back in 2012.

And the Belfast man is keen to tap into his experience of helping O’Kane ahead of that tournament as he prepares for his own knockout battle.

“I’ve never really had the experience of fighting in this style of competition, but I helped Éamonn O’Kane when he went for Prizefighter, so I have the experience of sparring for it,” explained Meli.

“He won the Prizefighter in Belfast, so I have that experience behind me from when were sparring in the ‘Mac’. I’ll be able to talk to Éamonn and get his advice.

“We were doing three threes, then taking a break and you’d go back in. I know what to expect and it’s all about pacing yourself and having the fitness for it. I just have to fight the way I fight, work hard and keep going.

“I’m delighted to be in the tournament. It’s a good, strong competition and I expect there to be a few great fights,” said MTK Global-backed Meli.

“I think the format will suit me – three fights in one night to win it. I just have to put in the hard work in the gym.

“A win would tee up big fights after this. It’s all about putting my face out there and putting the hard work too. It’s been hard when I’ve been working away [as a mechanic] too, so a win would really help me,” continued the 27-year-old, who has been regularly linked to a rematch with Conrad Cummings following on from their all-action 2015 draw.

“Anything is possible,” said Meli on the prospect of booking some big future bouts, although he does not consider a potential rematch with Cummings to be a ‘grudge’ fight.

“I get on well with everyone,” he said. “I don’t think there’s really any bad blood in boxing – it’s a gentleman’s sport and I don’t have any grudges. Some people might look at it differently, but I just consider everyone a friend and get on with it.”

Other local fighters TPádraig McCrory from Belfast and Sean McGlinchey from Derry will also take part.

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