Bernard Dunne is set to take Europe by storm. The unbeaten Dubliner’s next outing comes this Saturday night when he travels to Germany on a big night of boxing in Leipzig. Topping the bill is the IBF World Middleweight title clash between locally based Armenian Arthur Abraham and Nigerian Kingsley Ikeke.
Dunne features in the fight before the main event when he takes on Marian Leondraliu in front of an expected European TV audience of over six million. The Neilstown man’s Irish fans will be catered for too with RTE 2 televising the fight live from the Leipzig Arena. Live Coverage begins at 8.30 and continues until 10.30.
Last time out Dunne won the IBC Super Bantamweight title last time out with an explosive second round win over Sean Hughes. His title won’t be on the line on Saturday night with the opportunity to fight in Leipzig having come up at such short notice.
“I’m continually getting offers from both sides of the Atlantic for Bernard”, said Dunne’s manager, Brian Peters. “There’s a lot of interest in him returning to the U.S. to fight and that’s certainly something we’ll be looking at in the future. This opportunity came up at short notice but we felt it was just too good to pass up. The exposure this will give Bernard is tremendous and it’s a great showcase for him to increase his profile on the continent.”
Dunne’s opponent on Saturday night will be Marian Leondraliua. The experienced Romanian had been due to fight WBU featherweight champion, Steve Foster Jr., in London on Saturday night, but when that fell through he quickly accepted the offer of a fight with Dunne.
“This guy has been in training for a fight with Foster so he’ll be in great shape”, said Peters. “He’s campaigned as high as light welterweight previously and clashed with World rated fighters like Souleymane M'baye and Mohamad Abdulaev. In fact M'baye is the mandatory challenger for Ricky Hatton’s titles which tells you the kind of calibre of opponent Leondraliua has been mixing with.”
Peters is also thrilled with RTE’s commitment to bring the fight live to Irish fight fans. “The fact that RTE are screening the fight live underlines their commitment and belief in Bernard and the revival in Irish Boxing that’s been going on over the last twelve months.”
“Any one who’s witnessed any of Bernard fights at the National Stadium will know that it’s a special atmosphere but the next best thing to being there is watching it live on RTE and I’m delighted that they will be there in Leipzig on Saturday night to make sure that Irish fight fans don’t miss out.”
Dunne is currently unbeaten in 17 fights since turning professional almost four years ago. After having his first 14 contests in America Dunne returned to his native Dublin last year. Since his homecoming the 25-year-old has proved a big hit at the box office adding a further three wins.
Now though he’s looking to rack up his eighteenth straight win back on the road. “This is a great opportunity for me to round off a great year in style. To be fighting on such a big stage is fantastic and I’ll be looking to win some new fans in Europe with a great performance.”
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV