Cordoba ‘in shape of his life’ for Dunne showdown

THIS may not be the best time for Bernard Dunne to challenge for Ricardo Cordoba’s WBA world super bantamweight title according to the champion’s promoter, Richard Dobal.

On Saturday night Dunne will climb into the ring in the unusual role of the underdog against the Panamanian, who not only holds the title, but has also beaten the man who unified all of the titles, Celistino Caballero.

And, according to Dobal, Cordoba is in the best shape of his life and that could be bad news for Dunne.

“He’s (Cordoba) is probably in the best shape of his career — that probably sounds like a cliché — but this is his first world title defence and it took him four tries to win the world title so it is something he is taking very seriously,” Dobal said.

“But, having said that, he is not looking past Bernard Dunne — he is not taking Bernard Dunne for granted — he is treating it as the biggest fight of his career.”

Is this a bad time for Bernard Dunne to go looking for the world title then?

“I would say so but I mean Bernard Dunne is a formidable opponent,” he said. “We have not taken him lightly. When I was here for the press conference in January I said that we were looking to do a world title defence in Europe and we were looking at three fighters: Rendall Munroe, Kiko Martinez and then there was Bernard Dunne.

“Our last option was Bernard because we felt he was the more complete fighter of the three. Bernard Dunne is a hell of a fighter — he’s got a hell of a record, he is very dangerous and he is a very good boxer as well and he is going to have, I’m sure, 9,000 rabid Irish supporters behind him.

“It is going to be a great fight and, from what I understand, Bernard is in the best shape of his life as well. The winners are going to be the fans. This fight has been called the greatest night in Irish boxing.You can sense the excitement in the air already.”

Promoter Brian Peters enjoyed a boxing double last weekend with his charges Paul McCloskey and Matthew Macklin both recording impressive British title victories in the U.K.

He’s hoping to extend that success to a treble on Saturday night when he promotes the Hunky Dorys World Title Fight Night at The O2 in Dublin.

Peters admits that the bill for Saturday night’s event will top almost one million euro but he believes it’s a gamble worth taking.

“This is what both myself and Bernard have been working towards for a very long time now,” he said.

“The Kiko Martinez blip aside, Bernard’s done the business inside the ring while I’ve had to deliver for him outside the ropes.

“Bernard’s the first ever Dubliner to challenge for a World title in his native city and I’m determined to make this an event that will live long in the memory of the Irish public. I’ve no hesitation in saying it will be the biggest night in Irish boxing history.”

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