Last June, following two years out of the ring, Mullingar light heavyweight Paddy McDonagh returned to decisively defeat Stevie Collins Jr and reclaim the Irish light heavyweight title.
The slick southpaw looked sensational that night at the National Stadium and seemed to have a real platform to lift-off from. However, niggly injuries and opponent issues conspired to keep him out of the ring.
Now, almost a year later, McDonagh [11(0)-2(0)] is back again and will put his belt on the line versus mandatory challenger David Bailey [7(1)-0] on the inaugural JB Promotions card at the National Stadium on Saturday July 7th.
McDonagh and his team aim to steamroll the Galway-Bristol hardman and already have eyes on a major fight with Irish-American slugger Seanie Monaghan.
Its a good-looking pathway for McDonagh but the 26-year-old has seen his plans derailed before.
Looking back at his long stretch of inactivity since his title win over Collins, McDonagh told Irish-Boxing.com that “it’s been frustrating. I had a hand injury then I had a couple of fights fall through.”
“You’d get disgusted, training all the time with no fights. ”
“I’ve been offered fights and taken them but then the other lads wouldn’t.”
“I’m back now and hopefully I’ll keep fighting. After this fight, I’ll keep fighting.”
In Bailey he faces an opponent who was forced out of a mooted March match-up through injury, much to McDonagh’s displeasure.
His opponent has said that he is treating the Irish title as if it were a world title and is putting an intensive camp in with trainer Amin Khan.
McDonagh, however, is full of confidence in his own ability and preparations.
The two-time Irish champion described how “I had two losses to journeymen at the start when I wasn’t training proper. Once I get a proper training camp in I’ll be hard beat.”
“I’m going to put the work in and I’ll be in the same condition, maybe better condition than when I fought Collins.”
“I’ve enough time, I’ve a ten week training camp, and I’m going to be putting it in with Phil Sutcliffe. I’ll be training up there five days a week and hopefully everything will go okay.”
“I was meant to fight him and I was training well for the fight then he pulled out with an injury. There was a lot of frustration after training all of the time.”
“Hopefully it will all work out this time with the Bailey fella.”
McDonagh’s manager Kaz Evans has predicted a ten-round shut-out for July 7th and moves are already being made for subsequent fights.
Not a bad weekend of meetings in NYC, while also taking in Lomachenko – Linares.
— AssassinPromotions (@AssassinBoxing) May 14, 2018
The fighter himself has a potential carrot in front of him in the form of Long Island’s ‘Irish’ Seanie Monaghan [29(17)-1(1)], a long-time suitor of the Irish title and McDonagh believes an impressive win this Summer could set up a fight with the Navan New Yorker.
He outlined how “after this fight I want to fight Seanie Monaghan. He was offered it, I was offered it, and hopefully before Christmas if I keep winning, it will happen between me and Seanie. ”
“We were meant to fight a couple of years ago.”
“I’ll get over David Bailey first and then I’ll have a crack at Seanie.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)