Martin Quinn (2-1) was on the receiving end of one of the most controversial Irish boxing results of 2018 but doesn't intend to let this stall his career.
In his last outing last November, the Crumlin lightweight was narrowly defeated over six rounds by Karl Kelly (1-2) in a bout which got people talking but, rather than rebuild gradually, Quinn has jumped straight back into an even bigger fight on a bigger stage.
It has been confirmed that Quinn will face Dublin rival Francy Luzoho (1-0), live on TG4, as part of the game-changing Assassin Promotions and Boxing Ireland Promotions 'Clash of the Titans' card at the National Stadium in Dublin on Saturday March 30th.
The six-round fight comes four months after his one-point loss to Kelly, a contest which most onlookers, including his opponent's manager, felt Quinn had done enough to get the win. An immediate rematch looked inevitable but 'Mighty Martin' was then dealt another sucker punch when Kelly secured a shot at the vacant Irish lightweight title last month where he was stopped in the ninth round by Feargal McCrory in Belfast.
Quinn has been stewing since that stinging defeat and the opportunity to step up in weight and renew acquaintances with old amateur rival Luzoho was seen as the opportune way to get back into things. Risky for some, it was a no-brainer for the cheerful Dub who declares that “I don’t want to go backwards!”
"I thought, because everyone was saying he lost our fight, that we would go again ASAP. The way I see it is, and I don’t want to keep repeating it, I won that Kelly fight, so I’m going forwards not backwards. I asked Jay [Byrne, Kelly's manager] what the story was and he said he thinks Karl is retiring so what can I do? I ain’t waiting around. It annoys me even talking about it at this stage, I should be fighting Karl for that belt. I lost a bit of motivation after that fight, I trained hard for that fight."
In flashy Blanchardstown light-welter Luzoho, Quinn has more than 'just' a comeback fight. The pair have history and while it wouldn't be described as 'bad blood', there is a degree of tension. The 31-year-old recalls how "me and Francy fought in the Dublins in the amateurs and he beat me - it could have went either way! Then we got into another final and, on the morning of the final, I woke up with an abscess. They said that they could put it back a week but Francy took the walkover instead."
Quinn is more than confident of making amends and, having been a pro for over a year longer than Luzoho, he believes he has a crucial edge - despite having to move up in weight. “I’m happy with that," he professes. "This is at 64kg, I’ll do that with my eyes closed and I’ll hit a lot harder, I’ll be coming in at 67, 68kg. Listen, he’s a good fighter, we’ll see how it goes. Francy is a good boxer, he’s stylish but can he handle the toughness?”
“I'm more experienced. He's done three rounds, I've done six with Karl Kelly who sits on top of you like a nut, I've well more experience than him and I'll show that in the six rounds. You have to do six rounds with someone like me before you're able for six rounds because I'm as tough as they come and I've proved that already. Some people will say ‘oh, he’s only had two more fights’, but two more fights including a six rounder is an awful lot in the pro game - and I’ve had a lot of camps."
"The only thing I can remember from his pro debut was his entrance - no disrespect to him or anything but that's all that I can remember. I saw the fight, he's nothing special. I'm ready for it, I hope he is. This should be a good one, I'm looking forward to it. He's a good boxer, I'm a good boxer, this will be a good one. My training camp is going great."
'Clash of the Titans' is headlined by a vacant Irish featherweight title fight between Eric Donovan and Stephen McAfee with further domestic dust-ups between light-welters Victor Rabei and Jake Hanney, a pair of super-featherweight bouts with Allan Phelan taking on Aiden Metcalfe and Kelvin McDonald facing Declan Kenna, plus two super-welterweight fights with Graham McCormack boxing Jade Karam and Cillian Readon clashing with Jordan Latimer.
The undercard also features appearances for Poleglass lightweight James Tennyson, Killarney super-feather Siobhan O'Leary, Kilmacthomas welterweight Dylan Moran, Swords heavyweight Paddy Nevin, Waterford super-middleweight Craig McCarthy, Jobstown super-bantamweight Carl McDonald, Smithfield welterweight Keane McMahon, Milltown light-heavyweight Kevin Cronin, Mayfield lightweight Thomas McCarthy, Clondalkin light-heavyweight Paul McDonnell, and Kildare light-welter Katelynn Phelan.
Tickets for the night cost €40 (general), €60 (ringside), and (€100 VIP) and are available from Ticketmaster.ie or Universe.com or by contacting Martin Quinn directly through his social media or at 085 120 8834.