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Armagh boxer set for latest appearance in the ring in Belfast

James Freeman

Former GAA star James Freeman is set for his third professional appearance in boxing on the undercard of the Kurt Walker and James Beech contest at Belfast’s Ulster Hall.

It will be one of the biggest events of the year in the sport in the city in 2024.

This latest fight is the opportunity for Freeman to build upon his two successes so far in his career. The Armagh boxer is scheduled to meet Nathan Darby in a bout over four rounds. He will have a strong crowd supporting him on the night in the Northern Irish capital.

Freeman has hopes of becoming a World Champion

Although he has a long way to go to be involved in big main events, Freeman has hopes of winning a world title in the near future. The Northern Irishman competes in the super welterweight division, so he will be keeping a close eye on the Tim Tszyu and Keith Thurman contest later this year. Tszyu is 1/9 in the boxing betting odds to defend his WBC title against the American.

Image by Paul Kells from Pixabay

The other world champion in Freeman’s division is Israil Madrimov, who holds the WBA crown. The WBC and IBF titles remain vacant, while Jermell Charlo is hold of The Ring’s belt.

To push himself up the rankings in the super welterweight division, Freeman will be hoping for a big performance against Darby. His opponent has lost both of his two professional fights so far, so Freeman will be expected to keep up his 100% record.

On his pro debut in May 2023, Freeman defeated Jordan Grannum on points. The referee scored the contest 39-37 in favour of the Armagh fighter. That was a huge event for the 29-year-old, as he was on the undercard of Michael Conlan’s world championship contest against Luis Alberto Lopez.

Three months later, Freeman stepped into the ring with another experienced boxer, Naeem Ali. He was coming up against a man with over 100 professional fights behind him. He won every round of that contest, with the scorecard reading 40-36.

Freeman Linked with Sion Yaxley 

Although Freeman’s immediate focus will be on his next bout against Darby, he has been linked with the Celtic super welterweight champion Sion Yaxley. The 27-year-old won that belt when he defeated Kieran Gething last July. All three judges ruled the result in his favour, with the scorecards reading 98-92, 97-93, and 96-94.

Yaxley is 13-0 since turning a professional, with two of those fights ending inside the distance. He is also the IBO Continental super welterweight title holder, another belt he won with victory over Gething.

A clash with Yaxley would be an obvious step up in class for Freeman. He will also be hoping to push for a shot at Commonwealth super welterweight champion Sam Gilley later in 2024. The British boxer won the title when he got the better of Louis Greene following a crunching body shot last October.

Freeman’s upcoming fight with Darby is set for the 30th of March, and tickets remain on sale for the event through Ulster Hall’s official website.

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