Eamonn’s gamble pays off

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EDDIE HEARN insists Eamonn O’Kane deserves great credit for taking such a huge gamble when entering the Irish Middleweight Prizefighter tournament.

The Matchroom Sport Managing Director was cautious not to get carried away with O’Kane’s impressive performances but agreed the Prizefighter title will provide a significant platform to go on and win titles at domestic and European level.

When asked what was he envisaged as the next step for O’Kane, Hearn said; “He’s got to go and spend some money now. Sometimes it’s the worst thing that can happen to someone winning £32,000. Just don’t be expecting another £32,000 for your next fight,” he laughed.

“But we have to remember where we are. We’re 7-0 and there was a lot of positives, some weaknesses but coming into tonight he was a 4-0 fighter so he’s a novice. And actually you have to take your hat off to him for even going into the tournament.

“A Commonwealth gold medallist and a 4-0 hot prospect - they don’t normally go into Prizefighter but he’s taken the gamble and it’s really paid off.”

Hearn has big plans for the Banagher middleweight and expects him to form a major part of Matchroom’s September 8th show at Odyssey Arena.

“Now we look to our September show where he will be a big star on that and he’ll have another big fight. I don’t think we’ve got to look at 12 round title fights for Eamonn O’Kane just yet. Lets not get carried away.

“What he has shown is huge talent and loads of potential. He looks great and he now has the platform of a Prizefighter victory.

“I know ‘Spike O’Sullivan was on to us and wants to fight Eamonn for an eliminator for the Irish title. I think we’re at another level to that now.

“Look at the middleweight divisions. You have Darren Barker, Matthew Macklin, Martin Murray, Billy Joe Saunders, John Ryder and now you’ve got Eamonn who is probably just sitting underneath Billy Joe Saunders who’s Commonwealth champion and he will probably get the call for that fight.

“I wouldn’t be surprised at all but I don’t think he’s ready for that just yet. I know he’s 30 but there’s no tearing rush. Lets have some bigger profile fights and do some more learning over 10 rounds and perhaps Spring next year lets look at a title fight.”