Galway Black Dragon kickboxer Nicola Collins has her sights set on becoming the West of Ireland’s first female World kickboxing champion when she takes on the current European champion from England this Saturday in Leisureland, Salthill.
Collins, who is the current European featherweight champion, is taking the opportunity to fight current IKF European bantamweight champion Carla Jessup from the UK at - 55.5kg for the vacant world title.
Ranked No 2 in the world at featherweight, Collins has been training at the Black Dragon Gym six days per week for the last two months and goes into the arena injury free.
Also on the card is one of Ireland’s most well known kickboxers Cathal "Mean Machine" Manning and he makes a mandatory defence of his European super middleweight title against No 1 contender and current Five Nations champion Rob Burbridge from England.
Manning was offered a shot at the World light heavyweight title last November, but lost a narrow points decision to current champ Ashley Collins. Now he is dropping back to his preferred weight of 78.5kg for a defence of his European crown and, if successful, will challenge the curent IKF World super middleweight champ Caleb Plant from the USA either in Galway or in the USA sometime next year.
Eric "The Shadow" Daly from Gort will defend his IKF Five Nations title to tough Derry Man Dee Mc Guinness and Charlie "The Warrior" Ward, who has been carving a name as one of Ireland’s top junior fighters, hopes to become the Junior IKF All Ireland light welterweight champion when he takes on tough Dubliner Eric Nolan.
Clubmates Catherine "Cool Chic" Cullinan and Alex "The Pit Bull" Novac will also fight for Irish titles with Cullinan taking on Dublin’s Lindsey Doyle for the vacant IKF Irish lightweight crown and Novac taking on Donegal’s Chris Coyle for the IKF All Ireland welterweight title.
One of Galway’s most popular fighters Gary "Slick" Manogue will take on experienced Kilkenny fighter Kayne Nelson from the Dragons Lair Gym for the IKF All Ireland super welterweight crown .
Manogue, who hails from Castle Park, recently won the IKF Five Nations title in Telford, England, by a second-round knockout victory over current British champion Gareth Porter.
Manogue’s opponent Nelson is just back from Wales where he stopped his Welsh opponent in the first round of a scheduled five rounder at a dinner show in Swansea.
Non title fights include Galway’s unbeaten Jason Mannion from Castle Park and Ezra Nolan from Clarinbridge, while Oughterard’s Bryan Merrigan, who beat tough Welshman Dale English over four rounds in Swansea last month, will take on Peter Mc Cabe from Dublin. Claregalway man Gary Giles take on Dubliner Peter Doyle in a White Collar contest.
The doors open to the public at 6.15 pm with the first fight set for 7pm. Tickets are available from the Black Dragon Gym in Riverside Industrial Estate, club members, or at the door on the night.