Dream of a Super Four – Patrick Appleton
The Irish boxing revolution continues this week with mouthwatering fights being mentioned in spades.As all boxing fans worth their salt will know, the Heavyweight division at world level is in a very sad state.
The Klitschko brothers are very impressive at what they do, but their Eastern European, jab and defend, style which has ruled the scene for almost 5 years has left Heavyweight fans feeling redundant.
The Klitschko monopoly makes exciting fighters like Tyson, Lewis, Ali and Foreman seem like they were all just a fantastic dream. Heavyweight fans should not despair though, as the Irish Heavyweight scene could be about to burst into life with some exciting fighters making names for themselves recently.
First up we have the huge Tyson Fury, born in Manchester into an Irish traveller family. 6’9″ Fury is very proud of his Irish roots and can fight for the Irish title through his parentage, something the big man from Wythenshaw wants to do in his career.
There is also Mike Perez, the hard hitting Cuban based in Cork since 2007. Perez is under the tuition of Nicholas Cruz in Cork, and ‘The Rebel’ was very impressive in winning the 3rd Heavyweight installment of the Prizefighter series in May.
The Cuban fighter hoped the Prizefighter title would propel him to bigger and better things, although so far nothing has come off the back of that impressive win.
Current Irish champion Coleman Barrett is definitely ruffled that talk of Fury and Perez has been mentioned before he has even been though about, and it’s something the Irishman has reason to be angry about.
He is Irish champion and warrants respect, even from big name fighters like Fury. Barrett has told Fury that he will go anywhere to defend his title, and it is surely not something the Galway man will give up without one hell of a fight.
“If Tyson Fury wants it he has to fight me. I am the Irish champion and there is no other way of getting the Irish title other than fighting me. I will fight him wherever he wants. He is the last fighter I would be worried about in this division.”
Last but by no means least, we have arguably the most exciting fighter to come out of Ireland in a decade, Martin Rogan. It is with great regret that Rogie’s career only really began 3 years ago, at the ripe old age of 37 in the inaugural Prizefighter tournament at Bethnal Green.
Rogan has no plans to quit anytime soon, but at 37, was quite old for someone relatively new on the scene. This is a shame, just imagine if Rogan had been given the breaks or opportunities in his early 20s. We could have had nearly 20 years of an exciting heavyweight fighter, as opposed to the probable 5 or 6 we will get.
Here we have 4 fantastic fighters, young and old, with different styles, big punches in the locker and with personalities to match.
An idea which would whet the appetite of boxing fans up and down the country could be Ireland’s very own Super Six format, although replace the Six with a Four. Imagine the excitement with and carnival atmosphere if Rogan,Fury,Barrett and Perez were to face off in a Fantastic Four style tournament format.
It would not have to be all on the same night, a la Prizefighter, but could directly take from the Super Six way of working by having 2 semi-finals and a final. Promoters would have little problem getting punters in for 3 nights of big time boxing over a period of 4 months.
This all sounds great in principle, but getting the fighters into the ring together could prove harder than first thought, as Rogan v Fury had been lined up only for the Belfast man to decline the offer.
“I can’t believe that Martin has turned down the offer to fight Tyson, he was given all he wanted – one of the best purses he’s ever had, a chance to fight for both titles and fighting in his home city.
Fury’s promoter Hennessey is disappointed with Rogan’s decision.
Barrett v Fury looks as if it could be moving closer especially as Tyson is still looking for an opponent for his proposed 17th September ‘homecoming’ show in Belfast. An Irish title fight would be something that would appeal to Fury and he will be hoping for a big name for September, not a journeyman. Surely a title fight at home in Ireland, and against Barrett would fit the bill for the Manchester fighter.
Irish heavyweight fans would love to see a ‘Super Four’ happen, but Rogan’s latest comments regarding a fight with Fury would look to have killed the idea before it began. Rogan’s comments are a shame, as a Super Four would undoubtedly capture the imagination of the Irish boxing fan-base again, but it looks as though the possibilities of such a tournament are nothing more than a pipe-dream at the moment.
Irish heavyweight boxing has a chance to change the landscape at world level for the better. Will they take it?
Photo by Russell Pritchard