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25th Feb 2023

“Eddie Hearn, let’s go” – Sinead Kavanagh makes play to fight on Katie Taylor undercard


Sinead Kavanagh

“I’d be well up for that.”

Sinead Kavanagh is back on the upswing in Bellator and taking on a top-10 featherweight, at the 3 Arena, but she would be up for a spot of boxing, if Eddie Hearn could get her on the Katie Taylor undercard.

Ahead of Bellator 291, on Saturday, fighters took to the Gibson Hotel across the road to answer questions. Daniel Kennedy has the low-down on what those representing the tricolour had to say.

Inchicore’s Sinead Kavanagh makes her return to Bellator after a year out after powering through an ACL injury to beat Leah McCourt in Bellator 275. “It was tough at the start, it was a slow recovery, I just kept at it and getting things done and then I was getting improvement every few months.”

It was her goal from mid simmer to be back for this featherweight bout with Janay Harding and feels this fight is unfinished business after Janay won the first time they met but after cutting her. “Set-backs are a part of life, I’ve had injuries and decisions not going my way so I’m wondering what’s next.”

Having had plenty of in-ring experience at Drimnagh Boxing Club, and representing her country in amateur world championships, Kavanagh has called for Eddie Hearn to get herself and other Irish women to get onto to Katie Taylor’s card in the summer. She believes a strong Irish presence on the undercard would promote women boxers in the country.

“100%” she says. “I’d be well up for that… Eddie Hearn, let’s go. Give me a call!”

Sinead KavanaghSinead Kavanagh before her women’s featherweight bout against Leah McCourt at Bellator 275. (Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile)

Sinead Kavanagh on Conor McGregor gesture

In a separate chat with the Irish Mirror, away from the media huddles, Sinead Kavanagh also spoke of the support Straight Blast Gym teammate Conor McGregor gave her along the way.

“The man sponsored me… Like, I had the young fella and I was on the dole. I literally had no money, I was f***ing homeless. It was rough. Conor gave me €10,000 to keep me going. At the time, I was just amazed at how generous he was.”

McGregor was at Bellator 275, last February, and was there to celebrate Kavanagh’s win over Leah McCourt, which has now teed up her Top-10 featherweight tilt.

After three fights against world champions lightweight fighter, Peter Queally admits his bout with Bryce Logan is a step down. Now 34 and after consecutive losses to Patricky Friere and Benson Henderson, questions had arisen about Queally laying down his gloves. However, the Waterford native claims he was always going to come back.

“No thought whatsoever on not doing it. Three world champions, I beat one of them lost to one and then went 25 minutes with Ben Henderson.”

After the Henderson fight, Queally did not make any excuses but says anyone could see in that fight he wasn’t right after getting two shoulder surgeries and a bicep surgery. Now,  he feels good and right. Queally also knows what he’d do if he could fight Henderson again, “I would grapple with him. In the first exchange in the grappling, I stitched him on
two counters and I felt like I could grapple with him.”

Sinead KavanaghPeter Queally and Bryce Logan. (Credit: Lucas Noonan/Bellator MMA)

“The goal is to destroy this guy, on Saturday night” – Brian Moore

Ireland’s adopted Portuguese son, Pedro Carvalho is “buzzing” for his featherweight title eliminator bought with Jeremy Kennedy. His thoughts are simply with winning, ‘to show that I am the real number one, show that I am the champion and make a statement’.

He feels great pride in the fact that so many of his SBG teammates will be fighting on the same card. He believes such events create a great atmosphere when everyone is working hard to encourage and keep getting the best out of each other.

He takes great courage in how many people assume he is quite old due to his skill (but is actually only 27) – “When an athlete appears at the top of the rankings for a long time people just forget and is just a reorganisation of my work.”

Drogheda native, Ciaran Clarke has a featherweight bout with Leonardos Sinis, who has replaced Keir Harve who dropped out two weeks ago due to injury. This has not phased the man from ‘The Wee County’, who claims his training hasn’t changed.

“Leonardo is more of conventional fighter, he’s easy to prepare for, he’s very good at what he does do.” Clarke was delighted how quickly a replacement was found as compared to his last fight letting him to solely focus on himself.

John Kavanagh, his trainer, has described him as the perfect representation of MMA in and outside of the octagon. When asked about how important is to be a good role model, Clarke responded by saying he’s just being himself and it’s not really hard, but he admits he does feel a bit of responsibility to live up to it.

Belfast’s Karl Moore takes on Maciej Roazanski in a light heavyweight bought, on the preliminary card, and feels confident going to his fight. He was not looking forward to the final weight cut before weigh-ins and face-offs – “All weight cuts are tough, whether it’s one kilo or 100 kilos.”

Moore feels he is right where he belongs and is enjoying the build-up. He admits he is his own worst critic, feels he did not put up a good performance in his last outing and sees this fight as an opportunity to make amends.

Brian Moore, meanwhile, did not mince his words. He declared that the goal is to “destroy” opponent Luca Lovine in their bantamweight bought. On his opponent, Brian reckons, “he’s either a cheat or is too dumb to understand the rules of the sport you are in,” when addressing the illegal strikes his opponent has had points knocked off for in previous fights.

Although he still feels like he is one of the up-and-comers in the SBG group the Wexford man admits he admires the hard work that is being put in by the talented young lads coming up.

*You can watch the main Bellator 291 card (from 9pm) on Virgin Media 3, with the prelims on the Bellator Youtube channel.

  • Reporting by Daniel Kennedy, for SportsJOE

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