Eamonn O’Kane has been installed as the odds-on favourite by Betfair for the all-Irish Betfair Prizefighter Middleweights on Saturday May 5 at the King’s Hall in Belfast after drawing Anthony Fitzgerald in the opening quarter final today.
Paul McCloskey and Carl Frampton performed the draw at the Stormont Estate and Dudey drew his training partner and friend O’Kane out first, with The Jackal matching him with Fitzgerald, live on Sky Sports 1HD from 8pm.
Quarter final two sees Ciaran Healy face Ryan Greene for the right to meet either O’Kane or Fitzgerald in the first semi final. The bottom half of the draw sees Darren Cruise face JJ McDonagh in quarter final three and the victor will face either Simon O’Donnell or Joe Rea, who box in quarter final four. The eight fighters will come face to face for the first time since the draw was made at tomorrow’s press conference for the Betfair Prizefighter at the Europa Hotel.
Betfair make O’Kane – the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist – 4/5 favourite to lift the trophy, with Joe Rea the 5/2 second favourite. Fitzgerald follows at 5/1, McDonagh is a 10/1 shout, O’Donnell available at 14/1, Greene can be backed at 33/1, Cruise at 40/1 and Healy is the outsider at 66/1.
“Being the favourite doesn’t change anything for me,” said O’Kane after the draw. “Being in the first quarter final looks like an advantage on paper as you get the longest time to recover – but that’s no use if you get knocked out first. It’s going to be a tough fight with Anthony at the start so the focus is all on him now.”
McCloskey faces ‘Chop Chop’ DeMarcus Corley after the 24th edition of Matchroom Sport’s eight man, one night event reaches its conclusion in a 12 round welterweight clash as Dudey aims to get back into World title contention. Former British featherweight champion Martin Lindsay kicks off the night against Mickey Coveney.
Quarter final draw (and fight prices from Betfair):
QF1: Eamonn O’Kane 4/6 v Anthony Fitzgerald 11/10
QF2: Ciaran Healy 6/4 v Ryan Greene 1/2
QF3: Darren Cruise 6/4 v JJ McDonagh 1/2
QF4: Simon O’Donnell evens v Joe Rea 4/5
May 2, 2012