The Dubliner’s unanimous points victory, seven days after he’d knocked out Donald Cairns in three stanzas in Oklahoma City, put him in line for Peter McDonagh’s 135-pound Irish crown.
“It was imperative that I won this fight tonight,” said Fagan, the Oklahoma State champion. “Now, I’m hoping they’ll offer me a shot at Peter McDonagh’s Irish lightweight title in June and to win that would be a dream come true.”
An elementary school teacher in Oklahoma City, the 32-year-old Fagan upped his ledger to 13-3 (7 KOs). Mincks, who’d only won one of his last 14 bouts, fell to a woeful 3-14-1 (2 KOs).
MACKLIN FOE NAMED
Once thought to be on a collision course with John Duddy, Matthew Macklin will share the limelight with the Derry Destroyer when he goes up against Chris Troupe in the co-feature bout of the St. Patrick’s Day eve show at Madison Square Garden next Thursday.
The 23-year-old from Tipperary via Birmingham, England, is scheduled to go eight rounds with Troupe, an Atlanta native trained by former Evander Holyfield mentor Don Turner.
Duddy (15-0, 13 KOs) and Shelby Pudwill (21-2-1, 9 KOs) will follow Macklin in the ring to dispute the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) Continental Americas middleweight title.
“I haven’t seen (any) tapes; they’re on the way, but obviously he’s a very credible guy,” Macklin said of Troupe in a telephone interview from Manchester last week.
“I’m excited and really looking forward to fighting in New York. It will be a big night for Irish boxing,” he enthused.
Macklin, 16-1 (12 KOs), is two years younger than the 10-4 (5 KOs) Troupe, who is coming off a points victory over Larry Brothers last January.
The Irishman’s last bout was a one-round destruction of Russian middleweight titlist Alexey Chirkov in Sheffield last December.
A Macklin victory will keep him on track to challenge for Jamie Moore’s British light middleweight crown.
“Matthew will be British champion before the end of May,” vowed Brian Peters, Macklin’s new manager.
Peters admitted that he’d been key in pushing for a Macklin-Duddy showdown in the past, but the two camps had now joined forces and would work together while furthering each fighter’s respective career.
“We’ve hooked up with Clan Duddy and will be fighting in the United States, and on our own shows (in Ireland), and in England.”
“(Duddy) will fly the Irish flag at middleweight and I’ll fly the flag at light middleweight. Irish boxing as probably never been as strong,” said Macklin.
Eddie McLoughlin of the Far Rockaway-based Irish Ropes Promotions declared the Duddy-Pudwill fight at the 5,600-capacity Theatre at Madison Square Garden an official sellout last Sunday.
“Once you sell 95 percent of the tickets, it’s considered a sellout,” explained McLoughlin, Duddy’s handler, who will also be making his promotional debut.
“The few remaining tickets are available from Jack Dempsey’s (212-629-9899) or Mark (917-660-8353).”
Neil Sinclair is off the ESPN2 St. Patrick’s Day show from Boston that he was going to headline next Friday after needing 18 stitches to close a horrific cut on his right eyelid at the weekend.
The Belfastman, who was lined up to meet veteran Vince “Cool” Phillips, suffered the injury while sparring in the Catskills.
“He was sparring with Delvin Rodriguez when they bumped heads,” his manager Stan Hoffman said. “It tore the muscle that controls the eyelid. It was a freak accident in the last 10 seconds of a four-rounder.”
Sinclair, a 28-4 (23 KOs) light middleweight, was scheduled to make his U.S. debut.