Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bernard Dunne is Just Beginning

WBA super bantamweight titlist, Bernard Dunne, on Wednesday said he is ready to make his first title defense a successful one. The Irishman will go up against Thailand's Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym at The O2 Arena in Dublin, Ireland.

“I feel great. I'm in great shape. I'm ready to rock and roll,” said Dunne at the final pre-fight press conference. “I've done everything possible leading up to this fight to make sure I'm in fantastic condition, and I am. It's just about getting out there on Saturday night and doing what I do and doing what I enjoy doing.”

In March, Dunne, 28-1, 15 KOs, won the belt from Ricardo Cordoba in a thrilling slugfest that is a strong candidate to be voted Fight of the Year. The bout was filled with drama as Cordoba was dropped four times and Dunne was decked twice. Dunne ultimately prevailed with an 11th round TKO.

Kratingdaenggym enters the fight with a record of 38-1, 27 KOs and many are picking him to win the title on Saturday night.

“He is a fantastic fighter, a great challenge,” said Dunne. “He's going to push me to the limits. I've just got to make sure that I can go beyond those limits and make sure that I can keep the belt.”

Kratingdaenggym's lone loss came three years ago at the hands of Wladimir Sidorenko in a failed bid for the WBA bantamweight title. The Thai boxer has come into the Irishman's backyard and he has been less than complimentary with his assessment of his opponent's boxing skills. However, Dunne claims the harsh words do not concern him.

“You know, fighters say a lot of things,” he said. “I'm not one of those guys that says things to wind up opponents. I do my stuff in the ring and I know what I'm capable of doing.”

Most observers do not see many weaknesses in Kratingdaenggym's game, but the oddsmakers have installed Dunne as the favorite to retain his belt.

“Harry has plans worked out,” said Dunne of his trainer Harry Hawkins. “It will just be about me implementing Harry's plans and following instructions. We foresee him being very aggressive early on. There's no doubt he's an aggressive fighter...but, you know, we're well capable of handling ourselves against anybody.”

September 2009

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