|Dunne Secures World Title Date in Dublin|
|Thursday, 29 January 2009|
The Time has Come…Now the World Awaits as Bernard Dunne goes in search of the ultimate prize at The O2, Dublin on Saturday, March 21st at the Hunky Dorys World Title Fight Night.
Dunne takes on World champion, Ricardo “El Maestrito” Cordoba for the WBA Super Bantamweight title as world championship boxing returns to Ireland for the first time in 13 years. The Dubliner turns 29 next month and he feels the timing is perfect for a shot at the WBA belt which once adorned the waist of Barry McGuigan over two decades ago.
“This is the fight I’ve wanted since I first put on a pair of boxing gloves,” said Dunne. “It’s every boxers dream to be a world champion and I’m no different. This is what I’ve worked my whole life for and now that the chance is here I want to grab it with both hands.”
Promoter Brian Peters had promised his charge a world title fight in 2009 and he’s duly delivered with Dunne admitting that having home advantage is a the icing on the cake. “It’s a huge coup to get the fight here, there’s no doubt about that,” said the former European Champ.
“Every boxer wants to fight for a world title but to have it in your hometown is special. It’s going to be an incredible experience and I know I’ll thrive on that atmosphere. Cordoba’s fought all around the world but he won’t ever have experienced anything like the atmosphere in the O2, it’s going to be very special. It’s a fantastic venue and March 21st can’t come soon enough.”
Peters believes that Dunne can claim his destiny by becoming Ireland’s next World Champion. “This is a huge event for Ireland, World title fights are often talked about but in reality they don’t come along too often,” said the promoter. “I think this has all the makings of a historic night for Irish sport. From the first time I saw Bernard as an amateur I believed he was destined to be a World Champion. It’s been a long road but where better for that dream to become reality than at the fabulous new O2 in his hometown.”
A hat trick of impressive wins over South American opposition in 2008 secured Dunne a number 11 ranking with the WBA and a crack at Cordoba’s World title. The tall, Panamanian southpaw has just one defeat in his 37 pro fights and won the title with a landslide points win over Luis Alberto Perez in his native country last September. Dunne has already studied the champ on DVD and admits he was impressed by what he saw.
“He’s a class fighter, you don’t get to be a World Champion without having that little bit extra than most,” said Dunne. “He’s still only 24 but he has a lot of experience and he’s been competing at the top level for so long now and you have to respect that.”
However Dunne shrugged off suggestions that he would be entering the ring as the underdog on March 21st. “That’s for the bookies to decide, that might take a bit of the pressure off me but at the end of the day it will only be the two of us in the ring and whether you’re labelled the favourite or the underdog it doesn’t matter as soon as you step between those ropes. It’s what you do on in that ring on the night that counts and I know I’m as good as anyone else out there. If I didn’t believe that then I’d have no business in there.”
Dunne has been training for the fight since before Christmas and says his preparations will intensify now that he has a date to focus on. “I’m flying already, I’m way ahead of where I would normally be this far out before a fight. I’ve been working very hard with my strength and conditioning coach, Mike McGurn and I’m also working with some new nutritionists and I’ve noticed a real difference in that area.
“I’m always looking to add extra little components to the team and I’m already feeling the benefits on the nutritional side. This is the most important fight of my career so I want to make sure that no stone is left unturned in my preparations.”
Details on the undercard of the Hunky Dorys World Title Fight Night will be announced next week.
Tickets for the Hunky Dorys World Title Fight Night are priced from €50 and are available now from Ticketmaster (phone 0818 719 300 or visit ticketmaster.ie). Tickets are also available from Ticketmaster outlets nationwide.
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