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O'Kane can see a World title shot on the horizon

By Steve Wellings

Published 02/05/2015

Big clash: Eamonn O’Kane will defend inter-continental title
Big clash: Eamonn O’Kane will defend inter-continental title

Eamonn O'Kane believes a shot at World glory is within reach and victory over Lewis Taylor tonight could seal the deal.

O'Kane's IBF inter-continental title is on the line when the pair clash at the Lavey Centre with a 2,000-strong crowd expected.

"I hope we have a rough and ready crowd and an unbelievable atmosphere to help get me over the line," said O'Kane.

"The support will give me that extra one or two per cent needed. Hassan N'Dam and David Lemieux are fighting for the IBF belt.

"They are ranked one and five and I'm at seven so we are in touching distance of a World title. I intend to do a great job and if I get the win I am right in the mix."

Sheffield's Taylor, 16-0-1 as a pro, insists he's putting his undefeated ledger on the line for a reason and is expecting to have too much for his Dungiven opponent.

The 25-year-old has been begging manager Dennis Hobson for a step-up in level.

"Eamonn's a good kid but I'm confident and I've been training hard," said Taylor. "I'm ready to show what I can do. I am not coming over here to lose my unbeaten record and I've wanted this fight because this is my time now."

This is 33-year-old O'Kane's 16th contest but the Commonwealth gold medallist has packed in Prizefighter and Irish title wins since turning over in 2011. After starting out as an aggressive slugger, O'Kane has refined his style of late and reckons he can box more in this bout.

"I have to pick my moments and use that aggression, strength and power at the right time. I have to box smart and show what I have been working on," he added.

Trainer Paddy Fitzpatrick, who also handles George Groves, has been behind the stylistic transformation. He believes a win for his man could lead to fights with the likes of Chris Eubank Jnr.

"Eamonn is ranked at number seven with the IBF and if Lewis wins then he breaks the top 10. There are some massive fights for the winner," said Fitzpatrick.

Unbeaten Belfast super-featherweight James Fryers is on the undercard alongside Luke Watkins, Alan Donnellan, Garvey Kelly, John O'Donnell and Junior Saeed.

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