Monday, June 29, 2009

Sutherland sets sights on Irish title

DARREN SUTHERLAND looks certain to become the first Olympian to challenge for a professional boxing title. His promoter Frank Maloney has plans for the Beijing bronze medallist to challenge for the Irish super-middleweight title later this year. Sutherland (3-0) bids to continue his impressive professional form at York Hall, Bethnal Green tomorrow (Tues 30th June) when he meets Ukraine's Gennadiy Rasalev (2-1) in a six rounder. Maloney said: "The progress Darren has made with his trainer Brian Lawrence is astonishing, and he could be ready for a title later this year. "When he turned professional in December, I thought it would be 18 months before he'd be ready, but there is no stopping him. "There are some good Irish-Americans who could challenge him for the all-Ireland title, but the opponent I would like is Jim Rock. "It would be a great fight between two Dubliners who would be so fired up because of local bragging rights." Provided 27-year-old Sutherland passes the Rasalev test, Maloney plans for him to box again ten day later in Sunderland before taking a well earned family break. Top of the bill at York Hall is Jason Booth's (32-5) British super-bantamweight title defence against Rocky Dean (14-10-2). The action packed card also features a fierce British featherweight title eliminator between Harrow's Sikh slugger Akaash Bhatia (14-0) and Welshman Jamie Arthur (14-2).

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