Friday, March 24, 2023  |



Sean Monaghan on the light heavyweight division


LAS VEGAS — caught up with popular light heavyweight "Irish" Sean Monaghan a day after Saturday night's fifth-round stoppage of Joe McCreedy at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao's unanimous decision over Tim Bradley at The MGM Grand.

A 32-year-old father of two from Long Beach, N.Y., Monaghan (21-0, 14 knockouts) dropped McCreedy (15-7-2, 6 KOs) once in the third round and twice more in the final round and could return to action at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., supporting the June 14 main event of WBO 140-pound titleholder Ruslan Provodnikov vs. Chris Algieri of Huntington, N.Y.

An appearance for Monaghan on the June 7 card featuring RING and WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez vs. Miguel Cotto at New York's Madison Square Garden has been tabled.

Handled by Top Rank Promotions, Monaghan's next opponent could be 34-year-old Elvir Muriqi (40-6, 24 KOs) of New York City, with longer range plans for a bout against 35-year-old ex-WBO titleholder Juergen Braehmer (43-2, 32 KOs) "for possibly October or November."

Three of the division's top titleholders are RING and WBC champion Adonis Stevenson as well as IBF and WBA counterparts Bernard Hopkins and Beibut Shumenov are fighting on Showtime, the rival network to HBO, which televises Monaghan and Top Rank fighters.

The 49-year-old Hopkins faces Shumenov in Saturday's Showtime-televised title unification clash at the D.C. Armory in Washington, D.C., and Stevenson has a May 24 defense against Andzej Fonfara in Montreal, also be televised by Showtime.

WBO beltholder Sergey Kovalev could be an option down the road, given he fights for HBO and is promoted by Kathy Duva of Main Events. Will you be in D.C. for Hopkins-Shumenov?

Sean Monaghan: I don't know, man; I just had a baby daughter, so I've got to get home and I've got to do press conferences and everything this week.

Yes. Her name is Malia and she was born six weeks ago last night on March 28. I also have a son, Sammy, who will turn three in May. I have a boy and a girl and now I'm retired from baby-making. I'm all done." How are you feeling, physically, a day after the fight?

SM: I'm fine. We butted heads one time, so I have a little bit of a black eye — my right eye. But other than that, I'm fine. But that's okay. Whenever somebody asks what happened, it's a good conversation starter. What is your take on where you stand with all that is going on in the light heavyweight division?

SM: I'm ranked pretty high. I'm ranked number five by the IBF and number six by the WBA. But there are a lot of problems going on as far as the promoters and stuff like that. I doubt that I'll ever get to fight Bernard Hopkins because he's with Golden Boy and I'm with Top Rank.

I don't know if I'll ever get Shumenov or not because he's with Golden Boy now. The WBO has got Kovalev but I'm not ranked with them for some reason, so it's all a little tricky to me.

Top Rank is trying to work out something now where they're trying to get me a title shot against Juergen Braehmer now for possibly October or November. He's the only guy who I really don't have a promotional conflict with and I'm ranked pretty highly in his division.

I'm ranked sixth in the WBA, so that makes sense, right now. But you don't always have to be the number one contender to get a title shot anymore. Where and when do you expect to be fighting next?

SM: Well, originally, we were looking at the Miguel Cotto-Sergio Martinez card but the thing is, with that, I have a really good manager and he negotiated a really good contract for me. So they have to pay me a decent amount to fight every time now.

They don't need me to sell tickets to that fight because Cotto and Sergio are taking care of that all on their own. They're doing the fight at Barclays Center on June 14 so I'm going to be on that Provodnikov-Algieri undercard to help sell tickets to that fight.

Even though it's not a Top Rank show, they're going to jump in as a co-promoter. There are a lot of different promoters who have their hands in that one. I'm signed with Top Rank. I have a three-year contract with Top Rank that I just signed.

I think that Lou DiBella has part of it; Star Boxing has part of it and Banner Promotions has part of that show too. Do you know who you will be fighting on June 14 if that happens?

SM: They don't have an opponent set in stone yet but they're talking about Elvir Muriqi would be my top choice right now. He's got 40 wins and six losses.

That would be a nice name to have on my resume. People know who he is. As far as my opponents go, Top Rank still is sort of taking baby steps with me. I didn't have much of an amateur career.

They're looking at me sort of like they did Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., for example. Chavez didn't have an amateur career and he fought 30 or 40 fights against some guys before he came out here and started beating better guys.

But they're getting me lots of experience by putting me on these big undercards and getting used to all of the lights and cameras and everything. So, like I said, they're taking baby steps with me and I'm getting better and better.