O'Kane targets World title bout after latest win
Eamonn O'Kane says his next fight could be for the IBF World middleweight title after his hard-fought victory at the Lavey Sports Centre on Saturday night.
O'Kane, who suffered a cut eye, retained his IBF inter-continental middleweight title with a majority points victory over Lewis Taylor - the Englishman suffering the first defeat of his career. The judges scored it 114-114, 116-112 and 115-113 in O'Kane's favour, though many at ringside thought the Dungiven man was an even more convincing winner.
Now O'Kane, currently ranked seventh by the International Boxing Federation, is waiting to see how Hassan N'Dam and David Lemieux get on in their vacant IBF World title fight next month as depending on the outcome, his dream of a World title shot could easily become a reality.
O'Kane said: "I expect to move up to number three in the rankings after this win so I should be right in the mix for a World title shot.
"N'Dam and Lemieux are meant to be fighting for the World title next month, while Sam Soliman and Sergio Mora are facing each other for the right to be the number one contender.
"All that will allow me to move up the rankings and if N'Dam wins the World title then I could easily be the first defence for him so that could be my next fight.
"N'Dam's promoter Gary Hyde wants to make the fight and he would be happy to bring it here and it would be a very exciting fight because he's a come-forward fighter."
As for his victory over Taylor, O'Kane feels it was a fight he made a little hard for himself but was pleased to get in the 12 rounds.
"I think it was a good fight for me at this stage of my career. Taylor was a good opponent, he took a lot of shots and he smothered my work when he could but I think my better quality of punches won it," he added.
Unbeaten Belfast super-featherweight James Fryers was too sharp for Hungarian Zoltan Horvath, winning on points over four rounds, while Belfast middleweight Fredo Meli remained unbeaten after a first-round stoppage of Bulgarian Valentin Stoychev on Friday night in Dublin, flooring his opponent with a clinical body shot.