While Freddie Roach was in New York to promote the fight between Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey last Wednesday, I caught up with him to talk about the two Irish fighters he handles, light welterweight Dean Byrne (11-0, 4 KOs) and newly signed pro 19-year-old Jamie Kavanagh.
Both fighters, who hail from Dublin and learned their trade at Crumlin boxing club, are co-managed by Roach and Steve Feder.
Byrne was last in action on May 1 last year when he won a unanimous decision over tough Mexican Jose Reynoso (11-3-1), but he has had a quiet time of it recently.
However, Roach (pictured with Byrne above) is eager to get his man back in action soon.
“Dean’s papers just came through and he will be back in America next week,” said Roach at MSG. ‘’He will be back in the ring.”
Roach said Byrne was in good condition and he was keen to bring his fighter’s spell of relative inactivity (his only fight in 2009 was in Las Vegas in May) to an end.
“He’ s in shape. We are going to get him back in the ring pretty soon because he needs to get back in the ring,” said Roach.
Roach’s other Irish fighter is Jamie Kavanagh, a friend of Byrne, who helped bring the two together.
Kavanagh, who campaigns around light welterweight, visited the Wild Card gym in November and impressed Roach so much that they signed a contract together.
“He (Kavanagh) arrives, I believe tomorrow (last Thursday) he will be in town,” continued Roach.
“Golden Boy is interested him and Top Rank also. We are working with getting him a deal with one of those companies and getting him going.”
When asked if Kavanagh would be making his professional debut in the near future, Roach said the he was confident that it would be “very soon.”
In a late development, Matthew Macklin (26-2 18 KOs), who is slated to defend his European middleweight title against the dangerous and highly touted Russian Dmitry Pirog (14-0, 11 KOs) on April 16 in Birmingham, has announced that he will travel to Los Angeles to train with Roach for that fight. More on that anon.