Gerard 'Crank' Whitehouse is ready for titles and he is now so close he can almost smell them. The popular Balbriggan fighter returns to the ring on Saturday September 9th at the National Stadium in Dublin, the scene of his last two fights. Here, on the aptly-named 'Celtic Clash 3: Building Champions' card run by Boxing Ireland and Tony Davitt, Whitehouse will engage in his third six round contest, with the promise of titles in the immediate aftermath.
The night is headlined by former top amateur and RTÉ pundit Eric Donovan who faces Welsh champion Dai Davies for the vacant BUI Celtic featherweight title, and Whitehouse is hoping that a win in one of the show's chief support bouts will put him in line for the welterweight version of the belt.
Indeed, the Bracken Boxing Club man believes he is even ready for the notch above on the title ladder - the Irish title. Whitehouse claims that “I think I’m ready now for the Irish title. I’m looking at all the welterweights in Ireland and I think that, if I perform to the best of my ability, I’m up there with any of them, if not ahead of them. I can see it in myself, I can see it in the gym, in my spars, I’m ready to go.”
Equally adept at boxing at range or mixing it up, Whitehouse scored a comfortable win in his last outing. Fighting on the 'Celtic Clash 2: The Rising' bill in May, he easily outpointed Gabor Kovas. Recalling his performance, the Dublin puncher described how “the fight went well, It was a good performance. The whole team was happy. I caught him at the end of the first round which shook him and it put him on back foot for rest of the fight, he wouldn’t stand and trade. I didn’t do much wrong. If anything I could have upped the pace and got the stoppage."
Ever since, Whitehouse has been training hard with coach David Sadleir for his September 9th fight date, getting hard sparring in with fellow Dublin pros such as John Joyce, Keane McMahon, and Niall O'Connor. He will be well prepared for his third consecutive fight at the home of Irish boxing and noted how "fitness is never a problem with me, I train very hard and I’ll be ready for the task ahead.”
It is hard preparations for what will be another hard fight. The Fingal youngster hasn't been mollycoddled since making the move to the big bad pro game as a teenager and his seventh fight will be another tough one. Explaining his philosophy Whitehouse states that “if you look at the fellas I’ve been matched with, they’ve not been knock-overs. You learn nothing going out and knocking a fella out in a round or two. Yeah, it’s great to get the knockout, and it’s great for the crowd to see you knocking someone out – but you don’t learn anything from it.”
“You can say ‘you can get rounds in sparring, and experience in the gym,’ but you can’t. You can’t experience the fight, with the t-shirt off, and them little gloves, and to have a row and a good boxing match. You can’t experience that anywhere else other than just getting in and doing it. "
Whitehouse is a fighter with good pedigree. A cousin of former World champion and Olympian Andy Lee, and a bronze medalist himself at the European Schoolboy Championships, Whitehouse was plucked for the pros by veteran manager Tony Davitt. While he only turned 22 years of age recently, the Fingal fighter is primed to make the next step, and describes how “since I’ve been a kid, 16 or 17, I’ve been boxing men and beating them, winning major titles. Going back on my amateur career, I’ve fought at a high level for a very long time. Tony has a plan set out for me, so whoever he puts in front of me I’ll fight.”
"I’m looking to make a statement this year. I'm confident about what I can do in the ring. I will give anybody a hard night’s work at my best and I’ll be hard to beat at light welter or welter. I’ve been boxing at a high level all throughout my amateur days so I’m looking forward to some good fights as a pro."
Headlined by the Eric Donovan v Dai Davies BUI Celtic featherweight title fight, the ‘Celtic Clash 3: Building Champions’ card also features Regan Buckley v Carl McDonald, Anto Cacace, Stephen McAfee, Martin Quinn, Aiden Metcalfe, Dylan McDonagh, Colin O’Donovan, Chris Mullally, Michael Gallagher, Keane McMahon, John Joyce and Bernard Roe.
Tickets for the show cost €30 (Balcony), €40 (Gallery), €60 (Ringside), €100 (VIP Premium), and €15 (Under-15s gallery – must be bought alongside an adult ticket) and are available to buy from Gerard at 089 235 7211 or online at Ticketmaster.ie