Bernard Dunne (27-1, 14kos) will attempt to become the first Dub to win a World title in his hometown when he challenges Ricardo Cordoba (34-1-2, 21kos) for his WBA Super Bantamweight title at the O2 Arena on Saturday night.
“Bernard’s the first ever Dubliner to challenge for a World title in his native city and I’m determined to make this an event that will live long in the memory of the Irish public. It promises to be something special, and I’ve no hesitation in saying it will be the biggest night in Irish boxing history,” said promoter Brian Peters.
“I’ve never seen Bernard so sharp and focused ahead of a fight. I suppose that’s to be expected given the magnitude of the fight, but he really has taken his preparations for this fight to a whole new level.”
The O2 Arena, which has a capacity of 9,000, has been sold out.
“This is the big one, but I'm the underdog, so there's no real pressure on me. I have everything to gain and he has everything to lose," said Dunne. “The atmosphere in The O2 is going to be fantastic. My training camp has been the hardest of my career, but I've really enjoyed it and the time has flown. I just can't wait to get in there now on Saturday night, do the business, and make it a great day for Irish sport.”
Cordoba, who will be making his first defense of the title he won last September, is quietly confident. "The title is coming back to Panama with me because I am not gong to give up this belt. I have worked too hard to become World Champion to just throw it all away," said the 24-year-old. "I'm very confident and I feel in great shape. In fact, the last time I felt as good before a fight was when I beat Celestino Caballero back in 2004, so if that's anything to go by, Dunne is in a lot of trouble."
The full fight lineup on the night is as follows:
Bernard Dunne V Ricardo Cordoba - WBA World Super Bantamweight Title (12 Rounds)
Andy Lee V Alex Sipos - Middleweight (10 Rounds)
Katie Taylor V Caroline Barry - Lightweight (4 Rounds Amateur Bout)
Andy Murray V Daniel Rasilla - European Union Lightweight Title (12 Rounds)
Jim Rock V Alessio Furlan - Middleweight (10 Rounds)
Ray Moylette V Rob Gorman - Lightweight (3 Rounds Amateur Bout)
Paddy Barnes V To Be Confirmed - Light Flyweight (3 Rounds Amateur Bout)
Michael Kelly V Valentins Morozovs - Lightweight (4 Rounds)
Anthony Fitzgerald V Janis Chernouskis - Middleweight (4 Rounds)