Eamonn O'Kane ready to light up Madison Square Garden
Eamonn O'Kane is hoping the Irish American contingent in Madison Square Garden can roar him to a famous victory this evening - just as they did for his friend and former ring rival John Duddy.
Duddy, who swapped the Noble Art for acting, still lives Stateside and will be ringside this evening to watch Dungiven man O'Kane tangle with Tureano Johnson of the Bahamas in their IBF World middleweight title eliminator.
O'Kane, 33, knows this is most likely a once in a lifetime opportunity and is determined to meet fire with fire in what many believe will be the perfect appetiser ahead of the main course - the blockbuster battle between WBA World middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and big hitting IBF champion David Lemieux.
"This is the kind of fight you dream about having and the stage could not better - Madison Square Garden. John Duddy had some great nights here and now it's my turn to light up the Garden," said O'Kane.
"When I arrived here in New York I turned on the MSG channel and there was John - they were showing some of his fights which had the fans going crazy. The Irish here gave him great support and I really hope I get some of that backing when I walk to the ring against Johnson.
"It's a long time since I've seen John - we fought each other in the Ulster senior final 15 years ago - so it'll be good to see him. Being on this stage is special, every fighter wants to fight at Madison Square Garden but I have to forget about all that and just focus on the job because I know this is going to be a hard, tough fight.
"This guys will come at me, he doesn't take a step back and I'll be ready for him. Toe-to-toe suits me and I intend to grab my chance - to show everyone what I'm made of and to get the chance to fight for the world title."
Johnson, whose record is 18 wins and a solitary defeat, insists that he will take the fight - being shown on BoxNation - right to O'Kane from the opening bell.
"I'm going to bring action, I assure you," said 31-year-old Johnson. "If he can throw it, I can take it. I can't say I'm one of the most technical fighters, or hardest punchers, but my heart will just keep going.
"I'm expecting to be at my best against Eamonn O'Kane who I'm hoping will bring his best game. If you want to watch a good fight, this is it! You're not going to get that running around, ballerina stuff inside the ring."
e Anthony Cacace lifted the vacant Celtic super-featherweight title at the Meadowbank Sports Centre in Edinburgh last night with a 10th round stoppage Scotland's Ronnie Clark.
With less than a minute remaining, the Belfast man found the finishing blow - a wicked right hand, which sent Clark crashing to the canvas.
Cacace found himself under pressure in the early stages as Clark drove forward throwing plenty of leather but then settled down and picked off his opponent from range with his sharp straight blows.
From then on, Cacace remained in full control.
Belfast featherweight Marc McCullough got his career back on track with a first round stoppage of Sergejs Logins, dropping him twice before the refere called a halt.