EAMONN O’Kane is bracing himself for big things in 2015 after relocating to Swindon and employing the services of the trainer of mandatory world title challenger, George Groves.
And the Banagher boxer is hoping to start the New Year with a bang as he headlines the KM Promotions show at the Oasis Leisure Centre in Swindon next February 13th.
It’ll be O’Kane’s first fight since splitting with former Belfast based trainer, Bernardo Checa as he fights under the Fitzpatrick’s Gym banner.
After joining forces with Paddy Fitzpatrick, O’Kane believes he’s on the brink of forcing through a world title shot.
O’Kane is eligible to challenge for a world belt due to his top 10 World IBF ranking and is confident ‘big things’ will happen in the near future.
He tops the bill in Swindon in February against an unnamed opponent and he knows he must impress following his disappointing IBF inter-continental middleweight title bout against Virgilijus Stapulionis (23-3-1, 16 KOs) which ended in a technical draw in the Titanic Quarter last September.
Swindon based Fitzpatrick has guided Groves - a fighter O’Kane defeated during his highly successful amateur days - to a world title fight against Carl Froch and to a mandatory position for the WBC super middleweight belt.
While the move to England, away from his wife and two children, has been tough for O’Kane, he believes it was the best move and will be worth all the sacrifices as he attempts to re-ignite his career.
“It is very difficult,” he said. “My wife, Nicola; we have been married since June 2007. I love her very much and it breaks my heart leaving them (five-year-old Charlie and three-year-old Oscar) every week.
“But I have got to do what I have got to do,” he continued. “I have got to make the best of what I can do. If it means a bit of extra effort and travel for period of time and I become a better boxer and achieve what I can achieve, then I will be able to retire happy.
In the right place
“Over the next two to three years, I want big things to happen. I think I’m in the right place and I’m very grateful to Paddy and the team for welcoming me in.
“I want to achieve more. I want to fight for world titles and win world titles. There’s definitely a window there now.”
Meanwhile, KM Promotions promoter, Keith Mayo is delighted to have the Co. Derry man headlining his show and with the “exciting” undercard.
“It’s fantastic that we’ve managed to get Eamonn O’Kane on the show,” said Mayo.
“It’s great that someone of his class is training in Swindon with Paddy Fitzpatrick and even better to get him on our show.
“His record speaks for itself and he is an extremely exciting fighter who is now chasing titles.
“The undercard is exciting with four popular Swindon boxers in action, plus we have our newly crowned Masters champion Tariq Quaddus, who I am really looking forward to watching again.
“Luke Watkins produced a sensational knockout on our November show and we’ll be looking for more of the same from him. Garvey Kelly and Ryan Martin are potentially on course for a Swindon super fight down the line and it’s great to see them both on the bill.
“All in all it’s shaping up to be a really exciting show and one that I genuinely think could be one of my best shows yet.”
Tickets cost £35 for unreserved seating and £60 ringside/VIP. Contact Keith Mayo on 07789 890453 or any of the boxers for tickets.
The official launch for the February show will take place in the New Year.