Cuban stars can boost reputations in Dublin

CORK’S adopted Cubans, Luis Garcia and Alexei Acosta, can speed their progress up the professional boxing rankings over the coming weeks with back-to-back appearances on the European title fight undercards at the National Stadium tomorrow night and then Letterkenny on October 2.

Tomorrow night’s Hunky Dorys Fight Night card is headlined by a European title double-header that will see Brian Magee make the first defence of his super middleweight title against Roman Aramian while Kiko “La Sensacion” Martinez returns to Dublin to try and reclaim his old European super bantamweight crown which now lies vacant following the departure of Rendall Munroe. That clash will feature another Armenian, Arsen Martyrosian.

Garcia and Acosta are two of a trio of undefeated Cuban sensations now based in Cork – all of them former world junior champions in the amateur ranks. The third is heavyweight Mike Perez who has been forced off tomorrow night’s card due to illness. All three are unbeaten and tipped for big things in the pro ranks.

Garcia, a 22-year-old super middleweight, is undefeated in eight pro fights and is already rated number 26 in the world by the independent boxing records site,

His last appearance in the ring was at Neptune Stadium in June when it took him less than three rounds to stop the experienced American, Demetrius Davis, and this time he faces another American veteran, Christian Cruz.

The Californian took current WBC light heavyweight champion, Jean Pascal into the 10th round and his fight with reigning IBF super middleweight champion, Lucien Bute, went into the 12th.

Cruz also holds a stoppage win over perennial contender Enrique Ornelas and, with 10 of his 12 wins coming by way of KO, he can clearly punch.

Garcia has prepared for this contest by sparring former world champion, Byron Mitchell, in Cork. Mitchell once fought Joe Calzaghe and Garcia is hoping to draw on what he has learned to put on a special show for Dublin fights fans on his first appearance at the National Stadium.

Super bantamweight Acosta has won all 11 of his professional fights since his arrival in Cork less than two years ago. Amazingly the 22-year-old has yet to rely on the scorecards having stopped all 11 opponents inside the distance – it took him just 1:26 to stop Daniel Enache at Neptune Stadium in June.

Tomorrow night he was due to take on former world title challenger, Cristian Faccio, who left Bernard Dunne nursing a bad cut on his head after his comeback fight in Castlebar, in November, 2008.

The Uruguayan, however, was forced to pull out but has indicated that he could be available for the Letterkenny promotion

Meanwhile Venezuelan, Oscar Chacin, has the dubious honour of touching gloves with Alexei Acosta at the National Stadium.

A third title bout on the Hunky Dorys Fight Night will see Dubliners Anthony Fitzgerald and Robbie Long square off as they look to complete a trilogy that has already thrilled Irish fight fans. Both men having a win a piece but, this time around, Fitzgerald’s Irish super middleweight title will be on the line.

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