Bernard Dunne showed off his skills in the National Stadium yesterday — just as he has done on numerous occasions before.
As an amateur and professional he has had some great nights in the old Stadium, but this was different. This was a one-man show ahead of the biggest night of his life on March 21.
The little Dubliner is counting down to his WBA World super-bantamweight title fight with champion Ricardo Cordoba at the O2 Arena with supreme confidence.
Working with Michael McGurn on his conditioning along with Alex Doherty at the Holy Trinity gym where coach Harry Hawkins focused on his ring skills, Dunne is adamant that whatever comes his way he’ll be ready to withstand and become world champion.
Dunne said: “Cordoba’s a very skilful boxer and has fast hands, he puts his punches together very well and to be honest reminds me of myself in many ways.
“Look, you have to be ready for anything on the night, but I think it’s going to come down to skill and I think I can match and better him with my skills.
“It’s a dream scenario for me because I’m fighting for the world title in my home town and I’m fighting for one of the major belts.
“I know a lot of fighters always say they have trained harder than ever, but I can honestly say that I never worked like this before.
“I’ve been working with Michael McGurn, who used to work with the Irish rugby team, on my strength and conditioning, working on my core strength and the boxing as usual has all been down to Harry.
“I can have no excuses because I feel prepared for anything that Cordoba has to throw at me. Mike has worked with me more in this fight than any other, making sure I’m as strong as I can be.
“Although it has been very intense, there hasn’t been a day I haven’t been excited about going to the gym and doing the work I need to make me world champion.”
With Kenny Egan pulling out of the show, last week it seemed that fellow Olympian Paddy Barnes, World champion Katie Taylor and World junior champion Ray Moylette would be off the show as well, due to financial concerns.
Indeed, promoter Brian Peters said: “All the amateurs were off last week and it took a two-hour meeting with the IABA to get them back on. We had a lot of issues that we had to resolve and thankfully they have been.”
Peters confirmed that Cavan’s Andy Murray would be facing Daniel Rasilla of Spain for the European Union lightweight title in the main supporting contest.
Peters said: “This is a fight that can take Murray to a new level. If he beats this tough Spaniard, who has only lost once in 13 fights, then he is on track for a shot at the main European title.”