Many of the leading Irish and Irish-American boxers will gather St. Patrick’s Day Eve (Monday, March 16), including 2004 Olympian Andy Lee and former WBC bantamweight champion Wayne “Pocket Rocket” McCullough, to fight on the “Erin Go Brawl II” card, presented by Irish Ropes Promotions at WaMu Theater in the famed Madison Square Garden. Top middleweight prospect Lee (16-1, 13 KOs) will headline against 3-time world title challenger Antwun “Kid Dynamite” Echols (31-9-4, 27 KOs) in the 10 round main event. Although he hails from Limerick, Ireland, Lee fights out of the legendary Kronk Gym in Detroit and is trained by Hall of Famer Emanuel Steward. Echols is a past multi-regional champion who holds wins against former world champion Charles Brewer, Kabrey Salem, Ross Thompson and has fought Bernard Hopkins twice and Anthony Mundine. Belfast-native McCullough, fighting out of Las Vegas, captured a Silver Medal at the 1992 Olympics. The veteran super bantamweight is in the 10-round co-feature against an opponent to be determined.
“The show goes on and, I promise you, ‘Erin Go Brawl II’ is going to be a spectacular show,” Irish Ropes president Eddie McLoughlin said. “Andy Lee is headlining and a living legend, Wayne McCullough, is in the co-feature. We have a lot of other exciting young Irish fighters in this card.”
Former Irish and Australian national amateur champion, undefeated light welterweight Dean “Irish Lightning” Byrne (10-4, 4 KOs), is also fighting in an 8 round bout. Byrne, training in Los Angeles under Freddie Roach, is a native of Crumlin, Ireland.
Scheduled to fight in 6-rounders are Irish featherweight champion Patrick “Pajo” Hyland (15-0, 8 KOs), of Dublin; Philadelphia by way of Galway middleweight “Slick Fightin’ Irish” Simon O’Donnell (8-1, 5 KOs); Limerick light heavyweight Jamie Power (4-0, 2 KOs) versus Reggie “Concrete” LaCrete (4-0-2, 3 KOs), from Brooklyn; Chicago by way of County Mayo light middleweight Henry “Western Warrior” Coyle (9-1, 8 KOs), 2005 World Military Games champion; Jersey City super featherweight Danny “Little Mac” McDermott (6-1-1, 2 KOs).
Also on the card in 4 round matches are Massachusetts light welterweight Danny O’Connor (3-1, 1 KO), 2008 U.S. Olympic Team alternate; Brooklyn featherweight Sadam Ali (1-0, 1 KO), 2008 U.S. Olympian.
Tickets went on sale today and are priced at $50.00, $75.00, $100.00, $150.00, $200.00, $300.00 and $400.00. Tickets are available at TicketMaster.com as well as Jack Demsey’s in Manhattan, Hilltop in Elmhurst and the Heritage in Yonkers.
For more information call Irish Ropes Promotions (212.868.9543) or go on line to www.irishropespromotions.
PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
Andy Lee: “March 16, St. Patrick’s Day eve – big fight, big Irish show. There are a lot of good Irish fighters on the show like Hyland and Byrne. I’m honored to be sharing the card with one of my heroes, Wayne McCullough, starting when he was in the Olympics and as a pro. He’s been like a mentor to me, always helping me. It’s like I’m being reintroduced in America. I lost my last fight in America and came back strong in my last fight (in Ireland), knocking out Willie Gibbs. I took some time off last year to het my eye heal, If I win this and a few more I should be in the top 10 and knocking on the door for a world title fight.”
Emanuel Steward: “I’m very happy to be here to be part of this show. I always celebrated St. Patrick’s Day Eve in Detroit at O’Halloran’s. But it’s closed, so this year I’m going to stay here an extra day and celebrate with al of the Irish here. There’s a lot of Irish going on and that’s good for boxing. Going back to Wayne, then there was a lull until Andy in 2004 (Olympics). He was the star of Irish boxing. There’s in influx of Irish amateurs – a new generation of Irish fighters – and that’s good for boxing. Andy and John (Duddy) started it coming over here I think that will continue for the next 10 years. Irish fans are the best in the world and they’re spread all over the place. I was raised in an Irish neighborhood. They really support their athletes. It’s going to be a great show in a strong boxing city, especially after what Irish Ropes did with John Duddy to get everything going. In addition to being Andy’s manager and trainer, I like watching him fight. We have three more fights planned after this one and by the end of the year he should be fighting for a world title.”
Wayne McCullough (via video conferencing): “I’m thankful that Irish Ropes and Cedric Kushner for bringing me to the East Coast. I fought there (1998 in Atlantic City) against Naseem Hamed and I fought Daniel Zaragoza in Boston in 1997. My second fight was at Madison Square Garden (WKO3 vs. Sergio Ramirez in 1993). I look forward to returning there. I’m back! I want to get a few fights and hopefully, working with Irish Ropes and Cedric Kushner, fight for a title later this year. It’s going to be great fighting on St. Patrick’s Day Eve in New York City, it’s been a dream, and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Danny O’Connor: “I’m excited to come to New York City. I was asked about fighting on a show close to my home (Massachusetts), but I said absolutely not, I want to fight on the St. Patrick’s Day Eve be show in New York City. I’m happy things were finalized and I’m on this card. I went to and Irish Ropes show in Boston and it was amazing. The fans were so loud I couldn’t hear the person seated next to me. I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like fighting here March 16. I can’t focus on it right now because I have a fight February 27th (ESPN in Florida). Once that’s cool I’ll be able to concentrate 100-percent on March 16. I can’t wait to showcase my talents in Madison Square Garden.”
Sadam Ali: “This will be my first fight in Manhattan in my second fight. It’s going to be great to be here.”