Derek Grainger, Ian Bailey, Johnny Eames
Slough’s Ian Bailey is set to face the heavily touted prospect Carl Frampton on the undercard of, the Matchroom Sports promoted, Paul McCloskey’s European Light Welterweight title defense against veteran Italian Giuseppe Lauri at the King’s Hall In Belfast on Friday 11th June.
Those that watched the Sky televised Prizefighter – The Super Bantamweights a couple of weeks ago will remember that Bailey, who was one of the two reserves for the tournament, was the loser of the hastily arranged coin toss to decide who would replace Ricky Owens and face Willie Casey in the final for the £32,000 prize.
Boxing can be a cruel sport, by losing the coin toss Bailey not only missed the chance to kick start his career, by boxing live on TV, but also suffered an immediate net loss of £14,000.
Following his final training session, under the watchful eyes of his co-trainers Johnny Eames and Derek Grainger, at the Ultrachem TKO Gym in Canning Town the diminutive 26 year old spoke of that cruelest of moments, “It would have been a great opportunity to have fought on the Prizefighter show.
I don’t remember much of the coin toss, just seeing the wrong side of the coin. I felt faint, and could have cried after seeing I’d lost the toss. To have come in as the reserve for the final would have been awesome.”
Bailey then spoke of his opponent on the 11th June, “I’ve never seen him fight, I’ve seen a brief clip of him as an amateur. He’s built like me physically short. He likes getting physical, working hooks and body shots. Matthew (Marsh) down here at TKO sparred him, he said he likes to work on the inside so I’ve just got to go on what he said. He’s compact and likes to throw a lot of body shots. Similar to Ben (Murphy) here, maybe a bit neater that that, but not as strong as him.
He won the Irish ABAs, or whatever it’s called, so he’s a good fighter. It’ll be a clash of similar styles, so should be a good exciting fight. I like it when people come and stand in front of me. It’ll be a good old punch up.“
Frampton, and his mentor Barry McGuigan, may think they have an easy opponent, due to Bailey’s misleading 5-4 record, but the plucky Bailey may turn out to be their worse nightmare as Sheffield’s Steve Barnes, another previously highly regarded prospect, will attest.
Ian Bailey vs Carl Frampton will be on the undercard of the Sky Sports Televised Paul McCloskey versus Giuseppe Lauri European Light Welterweight at the King’s Hall In Belfast on Friday 11th June.

photo by. Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

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