Eamonn O’Kane will follow many of the sport’s greats as he takes to the ring at Madison Square Garden on October 17.
The famous New York venue has hosted many World title bouts between its walls and the list of boxers who have fought there is like a who’s who of the fighting elite through the generations.
‘The Garden’ is an iconic venue, but O’Kane says he is more concerned about winning his IBF middleweight World title eliminator against Tureano Johnson than taking a trip down memory lane – as the winner will meet the victor of the Gennedy Golovkin (33-0, 30 kos) versus David Lemieux middleweight unification fight.
“It is an honour to be fighting at Madison Square Garden – but I want to become a World champion. So many great fighters have fought here and it is great to follow them,” said O’Kane, speaking from America.
“The fight in New York is a final eliminator for a World title so my full focus is on beating Johnson and then going on to fight and win a World title.
“It is an historic venue and it will be great to say I fought and won at Madison Square Garden.
“But my aim from day one was to become a World champion and I would fight for that in my garage at home or here in New York.
“This is a huge opportunity for me and it is one I am prepared to take.”
O’Kane is currently training in Big Bear, California along with coach Paddy Fitzpatrick and stablemate George Groves who fights Badou Jack for the WBC World super middleweight title at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas on September 12.
And O’Kane – who has a young family – believes these are the sacrifices that have to be made.
“I am away from home but this is the perfect place to focus totally on boxing,” he added.
“I am training at the gym of the trainer of Golovkin and I am mixing here with the best in the business. I am learning all the time being here and this experience will help me in the coming fights.
“We are at altitude and we are at a remote location but this what I need to be ready to face Johnson on October 17.
“I always work very hard in preparation for any fight, but I am going the extra mile this time because this is the biggest fight of my life and career to date.
“I want to become a World champion and to do that I have to see off Johnson in New York.”