By Matt Thompson
Photo: DiBella Entertainment
Three top prospects from Ireland will make their US debuts on Saturday, October 12th on the undercard of the highly intriguing matchup between welterweight contender Danny “B’hoy” O’Connor and former world champ Vicious Vivian Harris at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia.
O’Connor, riding high on a nine-bout winning streak will take the biggest step in his career against the power-punching former WBA/WBA welterweight champion Harris. A win over Harris (30-19-2, 19 KOs) will bring O’Connor (23-1, 7 KOs) to the next level in his career, which has been red-hot in 2013, fighting in his fifth bout of the year. Managed by Ken Casey of the well-known Celtic Punk/Rock band The Dropkick Murphys, O’Connor has worked hard to increase his visibility and fan base in his native Boston, having his last nine fights in the Boston area since joining forces with Casey.
Coincidentally, the last bout for Harris was an easy tune-up win over veteran Shakha Moore the past March in Lowell, MA. Harris likewise sees this fight as a stepping stone to return to contention in the talent-laden welterweight division.
Also in action are three Belfast fighters: Jr. lightweight Anthony “Anto” Cacace (7-0, 3 KOs), jr. welterweight Tyronne McKenna (1-0), and light heavyweight Ray Ginley (4-0, 2 KOs). Cacace, last years pro prospect of the year in Ireland, has shown his promise early, winning the Irish title early as a pro. The Irishmen look to impress and get the attention of the American audience that countryman John Duddy was able to do a few years ago.
Native son jr welterweight Blair Cobbs (1-0, 1 KO) from Philly is also scheduled to appear.
Ken Casey and the Dropkick Murphys will play a rare acoustic set at the event prior to the O’Connor-Harris bout.
Proceeds from the show go to the Claddagh Fund, which is the charity the Dropkicks formed which benefits a number of local charities, mostly children’s and cancer charities.
“Once again Danny is doing great things for this charity,” said Casey, who is promoting the event on Saturday night in association with his foundation, The Claddagh Fund. “I am super excited to see him as the main attraction for the first time outside of New England. Philadelphia has taken to Danny like he is one of their own and we are really looking forward to this great event on Saturday night.”
O’Connor stated: “I’m very excited to box in Philadelphia, as it’s such a great city with so much sports history. It’s always a pleasure for me to be a part of any Claddagh Fund charity event. After an amazing training camp, I’m physically and mentally ready, in the words of Jonny Gomes from the Sox, ‘I’m time-tested, battle-tested, it’s time to put my hard hat on and go to work!'”
“Danny’s taking on a real veteran in Vivian Harris and we’re looking forward to a great performance,” said promoter Lou DiBella of DBE Entertainment. “We’re pleased that Danny is fighting on a card that benefits the Claddagh Fund and we thank Ken Casey and the Dropkick Murphys for all their help.”
The event is being promoted by DBE Entertainment, Green Blood Boxing, and DKM Entertainment.