Boxing: Dronfield’s Lewis Taylor challenges Derry’s Eamonn O’Kane for title

Lewis Taylor can cement himself a world ranking if he triumphs in Northern Ireland on Saturday.

The unbeaten Donfield man takes on Eamonn O’Kane at Londonderry, for the IBF Inter-Continental middleweight title.

Lewis Taylor in action. Photo by James Williamson

Lewis Taylor in action. Photo by James Williamson

O’Kane has one blemish on his 15 fight CV - and that to the powerful John Ryder - and will be favourite on the night.

But 25-year-old Taylor’s promoter Dennis Hobson believes his man will seize the “massive” chance to climb the ladder.

“This has come along out of the blue. He’s fighting away from home but it’s a calculated gamble” said Hobson.

“I’ve seen chinks in Eamonn’s armour that Lewis can exploit; he’s beatable. I’d rather the contest had been on home soil but this is an opportunity to leapfrog other contenders.

EAMONN O'KANE

EAMONN O'KANE

“Lewis is in line for an English title shot but if he wins this then he gets himself in the top ten in the world. It’s a winnable fight and a no-brainer to accept. Lewis is a class act. He’s got a great brain and while some people don’t think he’s a puncher, I don’t agree.

“When he fought Jonson McClumpha he had some spite about him, and he’ll be in the same frame of mind against O’Kane.

“I think they’re underestimating Lewis” said Hobson. They believe Eamonn will walk through him, but that won’t be the case.

“I like Eamonn, and his team are nice people to work with, he’s capable and exciting but he’s not difficult to hit. I like to have my fighters on home soil but I think Lewis can beat this kid. It’s a good 50-50 fight and another chance for a fighter from the Sheffield area to get into the elite.”

O’Kane, 33, is the smaller of the two, but he is ranked No. 7 by the IBF. He beat Sheffield’s Wayne Reed three years ago.

O’Kane has the support of world super-middleweight contender, George Groves.

Taylor, a tall well-built and steely competitor, has a low, 12 per cent KO rate but has stopped his last two opponents.

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