Hence Roach’s almost total disdain for Terrell Halgrove, a journeyman from Muhammad Ali’s Louisville, Ky., hometown, whose scalp the murderous punching Dunne will attempt to add to his collection at the 10,000-seat Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., this Friday night.
“Ben’s a good kid and I’m not really worried about someone who has a 6-5 record,” he said, referring to Halgrove, in an interview from his Wild Card gym in Los Angeles last Saturday.
Happy with Dunne’s preparations for the match, the 23-year-old Dubliner’s seventh as a prizefighter, Roach declared all systems go for the scheduled six-round featherweight contest on ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights.”
“Ben’s in great shape,” he said. “He had a lot of good sparring for this fight and I expect good things from him.”
As was the case before his stunning first round stoppage of Oscar Rosales in Oklahoma, in his last match four weeks ago, Dunne prepared for Halgrove by sparring with former world welterweight champion Sugar Shane Mosley.
“I’m in good form and I’m prepared to go the distance if that’s the way it turns out,” said Dunne, who’s only been taken the distance once in six starts as a professional.
A quick KO, though, in his trademark Dunne style, would be a bonus for a legion of his kith and kin who will converge on the Mohegan Sun to see their idol fight for the first time.
“They’re coming from all over,” he said excitedly.
Among the 50 or so expected from both Ireland and the U.S. will be his father, Brendan Dunne, a quarterfinalist at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal.
Bernard Dunne vs. Terrell Halgrove will be on the undercard of Hartford heavyweight Lawrence Clay-Bey’s clash with Cuban-born Elicier Castillo.
Tickets for the Sugar Ray Leonard-promoted show, which begins at 8 p.m., are priced at $35 and $45. For more information, call (800) 477-6849.
Junior welterweights “Irish” Micky Ward and Arturo Gatti, whose two previous encounters stirred the passions of fight fans, meet for the third time in 13 months at the Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall on Saturday.
Their first bout, a bloody, grueling 10-rounder won by Ward in May 2002, was voted “Fight of the Year.” Gatti got his revenge with a points victory six months later in what was the highest grossing non-heavyweight fight in Atlantic City history.
The Canadian-born Gatti, at 30 seven years younger than Ward, is the betting favorite to reprise his win over an aging fighter he thoroughly outboxed last November.
Ward, a former World Boxing Union titlist from Lowell, Mass., is in the 18th year of a checkered professional career that has seen him etch a 38-12 (27 KOs) record. The Jersey City-based Gatti is 35-6 (28 KOs).
The fight will be televised live by HBO starting at 9:30 p.m.