Karate: Cathy McAleer eyes second world title
Former World Karate champion Cathy McAleer is set to go through the ropes for the biggest martial arts fight of her career as she challenges for a World Kickboxing title on June 14.
Hoping to emulate her impressive 2005 World Karate Championship victory in Serbia, McAleer is jetting off to Paris to face WKN K1-style World Kickboxing champion Fadma Basri.
As one of Ireland's most successful karate competitors – with 10 consecutive years as Ulster and Irish champion and two World Championship medals under her belt – the star is no stranger to the world stage.
After battling a recurring eye injury, the future of the Virgin Active Health Club manager's career was under threat, but McAleer has fortunately been given the green light to return to top-flight competition.
"Cathy jumped at this chance to fast-track herself right to the top in the Lightweight division," said coach and former world champion Billy Murray.
After helping Belfast's double world champion Ursula Agnew and European champion Samantha Robb prepare for their Championship matches, unbeaten Belfast champion McAleer has proven that she is back to full strength.
"Cathy has always punched well above her weight, as we've seen her do in fights and recently in training and sparring at the ProKick gym," said Murray.
"She has been back with us for over a year now and shows a real hunger for the competitive side of the sport."
Wilton in British belt mix
Luke Wilton is back in the frame for a shot at the British flyweight title, according to dad and manager Alan.
Luke, who lost a British and Commonwealth title fight with Kevin Satchell on points, is now on course for a second bid for the Lonsdale belt by the end of the year.
Dad Alan said: “We expect Satchell to vacate the title because he is moving on to fight for the European title.
“Luke was set to return to the ring on June 14 on our Belfast show, but we are putting that on hold to see what Satchell does because if — as we expect — he vacates then Luke will box Iain Butcher for the vacant title.
“The fight will go to purse bids and we will bid to bring the fight to Belfast. Hopefully we’ll know more very shortly.”
Alan is also running a show on June 6 in the Holiday Inn.
Meanwhile, rising bantamweight prospect Ryan Burnett — managed by Rick Hatton — will return to the ring on June 14.