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Eamonn O'Kane in Madison Square Garden plotting world title bid

By David Kelly

Eamonn O'Kane says he is ready "to empty the tank" in his bid to secure a shot at the World middleweight title this Saturday night in Madison Square Garden.

The 33-year-old Dungiven man will step into the famous New York venue against Tureano Johnson knowing that his career can be transformed by the performance of his career.

O'Kane's clash with Johnson is part of a pay-per-view event Stateside, which is led by the mouthwatering World title battle between number one middleweight Gennady Golovkin and the ferocious puncher David Lemieux of Canada. The victors from both fights will then be ordered to meet by the IBF within 90 days.

For O'Kane this is a golden opportunity to hit the big time and he is prepared for what is expected to be a hard-paced 12-round fan-friendly showdown.

"It's going to be a great stage but all I am focused on is the squared ring and getting the job done. To think I could be fighting for a world title if I win this is incredible," said O'Kane.

"If when I started boxing someone had said to me that I would be fighting in Madison Square Garden in a world title eliminator I wouldn't have believed you.

"My good friend Paul McCloskey got the chance to fight for a world light-welterweight title against Amir Khan and that was magical and I want that chance.

"I want the chance to enjoy such a moment so I will give it everything. I will empty the tank and Johnson is going to get it.

"I've spent about the last four months just thinking about Tureano Johnson, I've been away from my family - I spent seven weeks at the Big Bear camp in California were Lennox Lewis and many great fighters have trained and I haver ticked all the boxes.

"The altitude training at Big Bear has been great, I've got the endurance, the conditioning is right and I have the game plan to win.

"I know Johnson tries to bully an opponent... he has brought in a new coach but you can't re-invent the wheel. He likes to come at you, non-stop, he likes to come forward and that suits me fine, I won't back down from that pace."

While O'Kane is feeling relaxed and ready for his big night, the 33-year-old revealed that he had expected to be in the Big Apple long before last weekend.

"We finally got here on Saturday but I had hoped to be here two weeks ago but there was a problem with our visas being processed. We got the problem resolved and here we are," he added O'Kane.

MICHAEL Conlan aims to create history today when he fights for bantamweight gold at the World Championships in Doha.

Conlan, who over the past 14 months has won Commonwealth Games and European championship gold, faces Murodjon Akhmadaliev of Uzbekistan knowing victory would see him become the first Irish man to top the podium at the Worlds.

"I said before the championships that I came here for gold and that's the only thing on my mind," said Conlan.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph