Dunne fights for jackpot in Las Vegas

DUBLINER Ben Dunne hopes to finish off his apprenticeship in style when he boxes his final four-rounder against Eric Trujillo, a reigning Golden Gloves champion from Colorado, at Sam’s Town Casino in Las Vegas tomorrow night.

“From here on we will be thinking in terms of six rounders,” his manager, Dunshaughlin businessman, Brian Peters, said as he prepared to leave for Vegas.

“We don’t know too much about Trugillo other than he is a Golden Gloves champion and that this will be his pro debut, but Ben is in great shape right now and we expect a competitive fight.

"He will move on from there. He is still going through the learning process and we will be looking for different opponents of varying qualities with credible records to advance his career.”

Now promoted by the multi-world champion, Sugar Ray Leonard, this will be Dunne’s fourth professional contest and he has won the other three very impressively.

Tomorrow night’s bout will be one of three screened live on the ESPN sports channel with the light welterweight bout involving Omar Weiss and Emanuel Augustus topping the bill.

Dunne’s trainer, Freddie Roach, is working with former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson in Las Vegas, preparing for the upcoming fight with Clifford Etienne, and it is expected that Tyson will be at the ringside to watch Dunne in action.

On the domestic front the national senior championships get under way at the National Stadium tomorrow night and this year they have attracted a whopping entry of 93.

There will be some missing faces. Flyweight champion Liam Cunningham has retired, light middleweight champion John Duddy is injured but the light middleweight division has now been absorbed by the middleweight with an upper limit of 75kg.

That change sees middleweight champion Kenneth Egan move up a division where he faces some interesting light heavyweights.

Included amongst them are newcomers like Shane O’Sullivan and Donnacha Cutriss from St Colman’s who will travel to Dublin with strong claims.

Shane O’Sullivan, who formerly boxed with Fermoy, transferred his talents to the St. Colman’s club and this season, became their 30th All-Ireland champion when he won the light heavyweight title at the national intermediate championships.

Donnacha Cutriss formerly boxed with Ballyvolane but has also joined the Maurice Walsh nursery at Shanagarry and one can only speculate as to what his future might be.

As a juvenile he boxed in two All-Ireland finals, both against Alastair Crowley, son of the IABA National Secretary, Sean Crowley, winning one and losing one.

Defending champion Ian Timms (Quarryvale) who beat Michael McDonagh who was disqualified in a tough final last year, will go will be joined by Marvin Lee (Oughterard) beaten middle weight finalist last year and Sean O’Grady (St Saviours Olympic), still looking for that elusive title, in an interesting line-up.

Michael Roche (Sunnyside) who dominated the light middleweight division for a number of years until injury forced him out last year is amongst the middleweight entries and so, too, is the talented young Limerick man, Andy Lee (St. Francis), a silver medallist at last year’s world championships.

Eanna Falvey (St. Colman’s) is not defending his super-heavyweight crown but and runner-up Cathal McMonagle (Holy Trinity) is also absent from the entries.

The weight for light welterweight has been raised to 64kg and the two finalists from last year, Paul McCloskey (St Canices) and Roy Sheehan (St Michael’s, Athy) are included in an entry of 11.

To cope with the huge entry, there will be 17 contests tomorrow night and two sessions on Saturday with 16 bouts each.

The semi-finals take place the following week-nd and, this year, there will be a box off for third and fourth places on the night after the finals.

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