EAMONN O’KANE has dismissed his favourite’s tag ahead of tomorrow night’s all-Irish Middleweight Prizefighter tournament, claiming any one of the eight contenders can lift the prestigious trophy.
The exciting last man standing competition was blown wide open during Wednesday’s live draw after O’Kane was paired with Anthony Fitzgerald in the first quarter-final.
However, O’Kane (right) - who is 4/5 favourite with sponsors, Betfair - is confident his all-action style can ensure he progresses to the final and he feels he could benefit from opening the competition.
“Being the favourite doesn’t change anything for me,” said O’Kane after the draw. “Being in the first quarter-final looks like an advantage on paper as you get the longest time to recover – but that’s no use if you get knocked out first. It’s going to be a tough fight with Anthony at the start so the focus is all on him now.
“I’ll close him down in some shape or form and that will apply to everybody. There’s a couple of rangy boxers there and a couple of big hitters and I think it could be anybody’s game.
“They’re tipping me as the favourite because of what I’ve done in the past but if all these guys have trained the way they say they’ve trained then it’s going to be one hell of a competition.”
Quarter-final two sees Ciaran Healy face Ryan Greene for the right to meet either O’Kane or Fitzgerald in the first semi-final. The bottom half of the draw sees Darren Cruise face JJ McDonagh in quarter-final three and the victor will face either Simon O’Donnell or Joe Rea, who box in quarter-final four.