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McKenna ready for war in all-Ireland showdown

 

By David Kelly

The undercard to Carl Frampton's clash with Nonito Donaire on April 21 has the feel of yesteryear with a triple hitter of all-Irish duels.

Old timers are keen to reminisce about the days when the Ulster Hall would be filled twice a week with local battles, and with the bouts lined up for the SSE Arena, contemporary fans will have a taste of how it used to be.

Tyrone McKenna has been matched with hard-hitting Dubliner Phil Sutcliffe at super-lightweight, a bout that already has fans debating the outcome.

"There have been online polls about what all-Irish title fight people would like to see and me and Phil came out on top by some distance, and now it's happening," said McKenna.

"I'm glad it's taking place because I've been calling out everyone and it has been hard to get a good fight.

"This is a really good fight, there's been a bit of a build-up for a couple of years with some comments that have been made in interviews and some social media comments.

"Everyone knows that Phil is a big puncher. I want to see how he deals with the pace that I'm going to set.

"People will see it as a boxer against a brawler, but I know I can box and punch. It's going to be exciting, and to be on the same card as Frampton-Donaire is just brilliant."

WBO European middleweight champion Conrad Cummings will defend his title against Dubliner Luke Keeler, while entertaining Jono Carroll faces Belfast's former British and Commonwealth title challenger Marc McCullough.

Cummings is hoping to make up for lost time in 2018 as he bids to move further up the WBO ratings.

"I think this is going to be a very good fight. Keeler will fancy his chances and it's up to me to show that I'm the better man," said Cummings.

"I know what I'm capable of, and I've always said that staying busy is important to me, so I have a fight next month at the Devenish and then I look ahead to the SSE Arena."

As for his fight with Carroll, McCullough commented: "It'll be a good domestic fight, I'm excited about it. A win would put me straight back into the mix for titles. Jono has really improved over the last year or so and both of us have a bit of power, so it'll be a cracking fight.

"It's nearly like a Belfast v Dublin undercard, so I'd say it'll be a great atmosphere."

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