LIGHT middleweight James Moore's right hand ligament injury is healing well, and the Co. Wicklow native will be back in action before Christmas in the biggest fight of his career to date.
"There is talk of me of me fighting Yuri Foreman on December 13 in Atlantic City for the NABF light middleweight title." Moore, 16-1, told the Irish Voice Monday before the fight was confirmed.
The fight, which is the co-main event on the undercard of the Top Rank-promoted rubber match between Kendall Holt and Ricardo Torres, will see Moore take on the Belarus-born 28-year-old who fights out of Brooklyn.
Foreman, who grew up in Israel and is studying to be a rabbi, has a 26-0 record and is a highly touted prospect, but Moore is looking forward to the challenge.
"He is ranked in the top eight of all four organizations, and he is ranked number four in the WBA. If I could come out the winner it would put me right up there for a title shot," continued Moore, adding that this fight is a win-win situation for his career as it is an opportunity to show he can compete with a fighter of Foreman's caliber.
"I have done a lot of sparring with him and I would be confident going into the fight. If the contract is right for this fight then I will be heading to Vegas for camp next week for six weeks."
Moore and trainer Lennox Blackmoore chose Las Vegas for the warmer climate and wider range of sparring partners.
The 30-year-old, out of the ring since injuring his hand in August, has never left the gym and has been keeping in shape and improving his jab. Moore has been working with Blackmoore on his movement, shadow boxing and is doing a lot of roadwork. He will have another MRI to confirm all is well on the right hand and if so, will ease back in to work with wearing bigger gloves.
Also on the agenda for Moore is a possible grudge rematch with Co. Mayo native Henry Coyle, this time in the paid ranks. The two enjoy a healthy disdain for each other since their amateur days when Coyle beat Moore for the 2004 Irish senior title. Both have been talking up the fight to press in recent weeks.
Irish boxing promoter Tommy Egan is trying to get the two to fight each other in Ireland early in the New Year, and there seems to be television interest from Irish station TV3.
Moore also went on to say that it is feasible for the fight to take place in the U.S. if the officials and judge are Irish and the fight follows Irish regulations. However, television interest would keep the fight in Ireland where the two men have large local fan bases.
"It's a bit of banter in the press. There is talk of fighting him in the early New Year, in January for the Irish title," said Moore.
The current Irish light middleweight titleholder, Jamie Moore (the Manchester-based fighter of Irish parentage not to be confused with the subject of this article) is expected to relinquish the title.
"The only reasons to fight Henry Coyle, apart from an Irish title which would be nice, would be all personal," said Moore, who added that the Foreman date is the only thing occupying his thoughts right now.
Coyle has also stoked the fire for the fight in recent weeks.
"I'd fight James Moore in the morning. I think he's said that he'd like the fight as well. I honestly believe that would be such a punishing fight that it would be a career ending fight for the loser, but I can only see one winner," said Coyle.
"That would be something else though. We'd a great rivalry in the amateurs. I'm sure it would be the fight of the decade if we met again in the pros."
First things first for the Western Warrior, whose opponent for his Irish professional debut in Castlebar on November 15 has been confirmed. The 8-1 light middleweight will fight Birmingham's Delroy "Sweet D" Mitchell, who has a record of 8-2. The 31-year-old is trained by Richie Woodhall and will present Coyle with a far sterner test than some of his recent opponents.
Bernard Dunne's opponent for the main event on the same night will be Eduardo Garcia. The Mexican has a record of 18-5-1 and fought for the world title against Nobuo Nashiro in 2006, losing a unanimous decision.
Finally, Ronald Hearns, a possible opponent for John Duddy on January 17 if the Co. Derry native can beat Sam Hill on November 21, beat Paul Clavette in Montreal on Friday night, stopping the Canadian at the end of the sixth round.
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