EAMONN O’Kane’s trainer, Paddy Fitzpatrick is preparing the Co. Derry middleweight for an explosive war with big hitter, Tureano Johnson as confirmation of their IBF world title eliminator edges closer.
O’Kane’s (33) representatives, including his lawyer, Neil Sibley, have been working furiously in the background this week in a bid to negotiate a suitable date and venue for the fight.
The IBF have given both parties until July 15th next to come to an agreement before purse bids are considered.
However, it’s understood the fight will likely take place between the end of August and mid-September.
And, therefore, O’Kane will soon step up his training regime at the Fitzpatrick Gym in Swindon where he will resume sparring sessions with WBC world super-middleweight challenger, George Groves who takes on Badou Jack for the title next month.
Fitzpatrick is expecting the fight against Bahamas native, Johnson to be an all-action, toe-to-toe battle between two fighters who like to come forward.
“There won’t be much downtime,” laughed Fitzpatrick.
“Both men are similar in that concern - they both like to fight.
“Anyone that has seen him (Johnson) will know that he’s a man who is in your face from the very first bell to the last bell. That’s exactly what you get with him.
“He’ll fight every minute of every round. You don’t expect to get easy fights when your fighting for world titles or eliminators,” he added.
“They are what they are. They involve the best fighters available who are getting ready for a world title.
“So you expect him to be a very tough opponent.”
Fitzpatrick was critical of O’Kane after his last fight - a close majority decision victory over Lewis Taylor in Lavey - as he became embroiled in a slugfest with the Englishman.
However, he envisages a similar fight when O’Kane ducks between the ropes later this summer.
He’ll fight every minute of every round. You don’t expect to get easy fights when your fighting for world titles or eliminators.Paddy Fitzpatrick
“It’s a great fight for him to be in and I’m happy that we’ve managed to get from No.10 in the rankings when we started together to this position, in six months and after two fights. “So we’re blessed and we have to make the most of it now.
“He’s come a long way. He had a team around him and Neil Sibley his lawyer is doing an excellent job. The team has improved Eamonn and moved him forward - it’s been a collective effort and Eamonn has put in the effort required from him.
“And that’s why we’ve got to this place now. I’m part of a team. We’re in a good place and we’ll prepare completely for this fight as I would expect us to do, no matter what type of fight we’re going for.
“And we’ll make the most of it and secure Eamonn a world title shot”, concluded Fitzpatrick.