Now or never for Lurgan boxer Haughian
Every now and then a fighter comes to a crossroads and tonight, step forward Stephen Haughian.
The Lurgan welterweight meets Scotland’s Kevin McIntyre for the vacant Celtic title with a shot at the British belt the carrot for the winner.
Haughian’s manager John Breen recently turned down the chance to face Michael Jennings next month for the vacant title due to tonight’s clash with McIntyre.
Breen said: “This is a make or break fight for Stephen and you never know, this could turn out to be the fight of the night.
“Stephen has never been better mentally, he’s so focused and ready for battle but he knows that McIntyre brings a lot of experience — he’s a former British champion with wins over Kevin Anderson.
“Stephen has matured into a very good professional and tonight he has the chance to prove that he is ready to go on and box for the British title.
“We turned down the chance to fight Jennings because we had committed to this fight but obviously if Stephen wins then the chance will be there.”
Haughian-McIntyre, which is over 10 rounds, is expected in the ring around 9pm with the main event at 10.30pm.
There will be plenty of interest as well in super-bantam Carl Frampton who should be stepping through the ropes to face Ian Bailey around 8pm.
King’s Hall bill (6.30pm):
European light-welterweight title fight: Paul McCloskey v Giuseppe Lauri
Vacant Celtic welterweight title: Stephen Haughian v Kevin McIntyre
Lightweight (6x3): Gavin Rees v Sam Amoako
Lightweight (6x3): Andy Murray v Jon Baguley
Super bantamweight: (6x3): Carl Frampton v Ian Bailey
Light-heavyweight (6x3): Luis Garcia (176.75 Lbs) V Nathan King (175.75 Lbs)
Middleweight (6x3): Harry Matthews v Ciaran Healy
Flyweight: (4x3) Jamie Conlan v Delroy Spencer.
Paddy Barnes is one of five Irish boxers aiming to make it into tomorrow’s finals at the European senior championships in Moscow.
Belfast light-fly Barnes faces Spain’s Jose de la Nieve Linares and should progress to the decider, while Donegal’s Tyrone McCullagh meets England’s Ian Weaver at 57kg. Kenny Egan will face Abedelkader Bouhenia, the French light-heavy who caused one of the shocks of the 2009 World Championships when defeating Egan in the quarter finals.
Semi-finals: 48kg: Paddy Barnes (Ireland) v Jose de la Nieve Linares (Spain); 57Kg: Tyrone McCullagh (Ireland) v Ian Weaver (England);
60Kg: Eric Donovan (Ireland) v Albert Selimov (Russia); 75Kg: Darren O'Neill (Ireland) v Mladen Manev (Bulgaria); 81Kg: Ken Egan (Ireland) v Abedelkader Bouhenia (France).