Dunne ‘one fight’ from title shot

BERNARD DUNNE could be just one fight away from a world title shot, according to promoter Brian Peters who confirmed yesterday the former European super-bantamweight champion will return to the Breaffy House Resort in Castlebar for his next ring appearance on November 15.

It will be an important engagement for Dunne who returned to winning ways in Castlebar following his shock defeat to Kiko Martinez when he headlined the first ever night of professional boxing in Mayo by outpointing former World Champion, Felix Machado last April.

Since then Dunne notched up another win over Argentina’s Damian Marchiano in July to bring his record to 25 wins and one defeat. Now manager Brian Peters believes he could be just one fight away from a world title bid.

Dunne’s opponent for next month has yet to be confirmed but Peters says it will be a test of the Neilstown man’s world title ambitions. “We’re working on a shortlist,” he said. “We want someone who is really going to test Bernard so that he will prove he’s ready to step up to world title level.

“There’s no doubt the defeat to Martinez upset the applecart and set us back about 12 months but Bernard has had two good wins since then that have put him back in the world ratings. He’s now world ranked by the WBA, the WBC and WBO so we’re pretty much back on track in terms of positioning Bernard for a world title fight.”

Peters revealed current world champions at both featherweight and super bantamweight have already been inquiring as to Dunne’s availability and he said they turned down a world title opportunity this year because they felt it came too soon.

The Hunky Dorys Fight Night will feature local hero Henry “The Western Warrior” Coyle on an exciting undercard. The Geesala man — a former Irish amateur champion — has been based in Chicago since turning professional 18 months ago and has so far racked up eight KO wins from his nine paid outings to date.

Coyle says he will be fulfilling a lifetime’s ambition because it will be the Mayo man’s first pro outing on home soil and it couldn’t be much closer to home for his fan club from Geesala.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to fight as a pro in Ireland,” he said. “To get a chance right here at home in Mayo is the icing on the cake.”

Like Dunne, he suffered a shock defeat when he was stopped by Omar Bell and admitted he had difficulty coming to terms with that.

“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with,” he said. “I didn’t sleep for a month and a half after that. Looking back on it now, it taught me that you should always be cautious in that first round and let yourself get warmed up.

“It was the first time I’ve ever been down in my life but I got back up and I felt I was okay to continue but the referee didn’t give me that chance.

“It’s happened to the best of them, it happened Bernard Dunne and he’s bounced back and it happened Amir Khan recently so you just have to deal with these things and move on.”

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