O’Kane to meet Mexican slugger at Odyssey

Eamonn O'Kane will fight Mexican Alvaro Gaona for the vacant WBC International Silver Middleweight title at the Odyssey Arena on April 4th.

Eamonn O'Kane will fight Mexican Alvaro Gaona for the vacant WBC International Silver Middleweight title at the Odyssey Arena on April 4th.

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Eamonn O’Kane will take on tough Mexican slugger, Alvaro Gaona for the vacant WBC International Silver Middleweight title at the Odyssey Arena on April 4th.

The big Banagher puncher is chief supporting act to Carl Frampton’s final WBC world title eliminator against Hugo Cazares and he’s hoping to grab the opportunity with both hands.

Victory over Gaona will help raise O’Kane’s ever-growing profile in the division and provide him with recognition by the World Boxing Council.

Cyclone Promotions confirmed O’Kane’s opponent on Saturday last and with just over a week to go until the exciting ‘This is Belfast’ show takes place, the Co. Derry man is chomping at the bit to get into the ring.

“I am up for the fight and it will get me a ranking with the WBC,” said the Irish middleweight champion. “At this moment in time I am ranked nine by the IBF, so I am there or there abouts.

“A ranking is good but you have to take advantage of that ranking and I intend doing that,” he added.

“Yes is would be nice to get another title and belt and the WBC is a well thought of organisation. Their green belts are like the green coats you get when you play golf,” he laughed.

His opponent is 28 year-old Mexican, “The Cobra” Gaona (13-3-0) who is the WBC’s Fecombox champion since 2010.

Gaona, who turned professional in 2005, is a hard-hitting, aggressive and courageous fighter - evident by his eight knockout win so far.

His first and most notable loss as a pro. was to Esau Errera (17-5-1) in 2011 which he avenged the following year by a 10th round technical knockout.

However, the Mexican has lost two out of his last four fights since October 2012 when he lost to David Lemieux on world light-heavyweight champion, Adonis Stevenson’s undercard.

O’Kane has picked-up the Irish title and the IBF Inter-continental titles in his last two outings, and he is looking to make it three out of three against Gaona - an opponent he knows little about.

“I know he is tall and rangy and he has won 13 of his 16 fights and has 8 KO’s, so he can punch a wee bit. But if I turn up and bring my strengths on the night I will get the job done.”