‘Defeat not an option’ as Eamonn O’Kane prepares for latest acid test

Eamonn O'Kane puts in some work with Paddy Fitzgerald
Eamonn O'Kane puts in some work with Paddy Fitzgerald
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Eamonn O’Kane was in confident mood at the weigh-on for his fight against Lewis Taylor in Lavey on Saturday night.

O’Kane’s loyal fans cheered as he took to the scales at Walsh’s Hotel in Maghera on Friday.

And ‘King Kane’ says he now just wants to get started against the unbeaten Taylor in this IBF Inter-continental title clash.

“I am feeling great, I have done all the hard work, so now it is just a matter of going out there and performing,” he said.

“I’m really looking forward to getting into the ring now and doing a great job, in front a home crowd.

“It should be a really great night for myself and for all the fans who will be there.”

It is the latest acid test for O’Kane as he looks to keep his World title ambitions alive.

And the middleweight says defeat is not an option.

“Taylor is a good boxer but I am ranked in the top ten by the IBF, so a World title shot is on the cards if I keep on winning,” he added.

“I have huge respect for Taylor and we are fully focused on this fight. We have not underestimated him in any way. No chance.

“I have put in all the hard work and done everything professionally. We have left no stone unturned in our preparations.

“It is the first time I will be headlining and I intend putting on a good display of smart boxing.”

And O’Kane says sparring with World title challenger George Groves – who lost in two epic contests to Carl Froch – has brought him on leaps and bounds.

“George had actually got me over to spar before he was supposed to fight Kenny Anderson,” explained O’Kane.

“I was really impressed by how down to earth he was and how professional he was.

Meanwhile, exciting Belfast fighter James Fryers will also appear on the bill, along with John O’Donnell, Garvey Kelly, Junior Saeed and Alan Donnellan.

Elsewhere, Belfast’s Alfredo Meli was in impressive form at the Red Cow Moran Hotel in Dublin on Friday night and an Irish title shot is on the horizon.

The middleweight destroyed Valentin Stoychev in the first round of their contest. Talented Meli peppered Stoychev with a number of shots before a crisp body shot stopped the Bulgarian.

“It was good to get the win and the stoppage. It looks as if I will fight for the Irish title in the coming weeks. Things are going well and I want to be active, busy and keep on winning in 2015,” he said.

And there was a good win for the Pat Magee-managed Phill Sutcliffe as he defeat Yoann Portailler

Sutcliffe had his opponent down in the first but he was made of tough stuff and rallied back in rounds two to five.

Sutcliffe boxed well and won the fight 79-72 on the referee’s scorecard.

Ciaran Bates was also a winner on the night as he beat Pepi Petrov 4-0-36 on points.

Gerard Whitehouse made it three wins out of three as he saw off Teodor Stepovdov 40-36 after four entertaining rounds.

Niall Kennedy got his professional career off to winning start as he saw off Moses Watovu 40-36.

Kennedy looked the part but it was Watovu who entertained the crowd as he went the four rounds.

In the first fight of the evening Crag O’Brien had a 40-36 win over Ason Vasilev.

It was a good performance from O’Brien.