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Irish Voice Sport
Egan Checking Out Options Stateside
November 12, 2008
By Declan O’Kelly
IRISH Olympic silver medalist Ken Egan was at Madison Square Garden Saturday night to take in the fight between Joe Calzaghe and Roy Jones Junior for the Ring Magazine light heavyweight title. The Dubliner spent a few days in the city talking to boxing promoters and mulling over his future.
At the Garden, Egan was as much a fan as the rest of the crowd, taking photos of Bernard Hopkins ringside and enjoying the anonymity that New York might offer him. Life at home for Ireland’s most successful 2008 Olympian has been intense, and not without the scrutiny that comes with such success.
“I am still an amateur at the moment. I’ll be having a press conference in a few weeks time, one here and one in New York,” Egan told the Irish Voice.
“I’ve been talking to Lou DiBella and I will be talking to Shelly Finkel. As I said, I’ve signed nothing yet, but when I come to a place like this, you know, it is a little lure. I was in LA a few weeks ago chatting to a few people. I’m here on the East Coast now, and I think the East Coast might suit me more.”
Unlike his Olympic teammate Darren Sutherland, who signed with Frank Maloney in London, Egan believes America would be the place to fulfill his ambitions as a professional.
“If I decided to turn pro I would be going straight to the States. In Ireland and England there are too many distractions, whereas if you come over here and commit 100% and give yourself five or six years, you know? I am going to have to make a decision before the year is out.”
At 26, Egan is about the same age as James Moore when he made the move to the U.S. Though by no means old, if the move is to be made to the paid ranks, now is the time to do it. Egan speaks like a man who is about to take a new direction in his career.
“I reached the final of the Olympic Games. I have gone as far as I can go. I think it might be a time for a new chapter, maybe a new journey,” says Egan.
“I could hang around (in the amateurs) and try and win the (Olympic) gold, but it is not as easy as that. There are a lot of politics in the sport and there are a lot of young lads coming up.”
A silver medalist at light heavyweight (175 pounds) in Beijing, could Egan make it down to 168 and campaign as a super middleweight? The Dubliner met WBA super middleweight Michael Kessler from Denmark at the fight, and the Dane is the same height as the Dubliner (6’1”) and campaigns in that class.
“I don’t know. I would start at 175 and depending on how that works out and what dieticians would say, who knows,” said Egan.
“I have a DVD coming out that was made after the Olympic Games. It’s called Ken Egan: Back From Beijing, about my life and the road I had to take to reach the Olympic Games. Once I have done the marketing for that, then I will make a decision about my future come December.”
In the aforementioned superlight between Calzaghe and Jones, the 36-year-old Welshman completely dismantled his opponent in a fight that started out like a classic and ended up like a clinic.
Calzaghe was floored in the first round by Jones, just as he was against Bernard Hopkins in his their fight last April. However, the Italian Dragon dusted himself off and proceeded to set a pace that was too much for Jones.
Flurry after flurry of shots had Jones flummoxed, and when the American was cut by a straight left in the seventh, there was only one winner.
To his credit, Jones labored on despite a torrent of blood flowing from the nasty gash on his left eye. For the 14,172 in attendance, several thousand from Wales among them, Calzaghe, who said he was going to retire after this fight, capped a wonderful career with a captivating performance.
In other news, Castlebar, Co. Mayo is the scene this Saturday night for the latest step in the rehabilitation of bantamweight Bernard Dunne (26-1), and the first bow of Henry Coyle as professional in Ireland.
Dunne will step in the ring with Cristian “El Terrible” Faccio (16-3 11 KOs) of Uruguay in the main event on the night. Dunne has been working hard on his conditioning in Belfast and hopes to win this weekend to get closer to his ultimate goal.
“From day one my career has always been about getting a world title shot, and I think we’re ready for that now. My confidence is back; I’m fully focused and I’ve no distractions,” said Dunne this week.
“I’m 28 now so I know I need to step up to the mark and test myself against the big names at world level, and hopefully 2009 will be all about that but for now the only thing I’m thinking about is beating Cristian Faccio and getting another win under my belt.”
Light middleweight Coyle (8-1) will enter the ring in Ireland as a professional for the first time on the same card.
“It’s going to be a great night for myself, my family, friends and supporters. To fight at home is literally a dream come true and I can’t wait for that first bell to ring,” said Coyle ahead of the fight, which is scheduled for 10 rounds.
Hoping to make his night a nightmare is Birmingham’s Sweet Dee” Mitchell, who has a record of 8-2 and is a step up for Coyle in comparison to recent opponents.
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