‘Showtime’s’ vacant featherweight Irish title fight at the National Stadium tonight is being billed in some quarters as a platform from which successful former amateur Donovan [8(4)-0] can launch his career to the next level following an injury-afflicted 2018.
It’s seen as a chance for the Kildare fighter to impress a massive audience via the TG4 cameras and gain the kind of profile that will aid him progress toward titles beyond domestic level.
However, Sallynoggin’s McAfee hasn’t read the TV script and is preparing for a plot twist.
The 27-year-old is more than happy to play underdog, but warns he won’t be restrained by any leash on the Clash of the Titans’ card next week.
Indeed, the Jonathan Lewins-trained fighter calmly points out that the headline bout isn’t all about the headline act.
“It takes two to tango and I am not here to be a dance partner. I am here with a serious attitude. I am coming to perform. There are two people in this fight,” McAfee told Irish-Boxing.com.
The Kenneth Egan-trained Donovan goes into the clash with his fellow ‘Celtic Clash’ regular as a heavy favourite, but McAfee claims that plays into his hands.
The Dubliner suggests that piles the pressure on his opponent and gives him a free ride toward potentially cracking the domestic big time.
“There is way more media interest. I have done more interviews today than ever before. Most of that is probably for Eric,” notes McAfee who was speaking at the media day for the card.
“I am happy to be underdog. I actually enjoy it. It takes the pressure of me and puts it on Eric. I am in the passenger seat as they say.”
It’s all calm and collected from the former BUI Celtic super featherweight champion and a fighter who has come from left field to take a place on centre stage in Dublin of late.
McAfee isn’t upset by those predicting a breakthrough for the Athy EU and European bronze medallist as it means those things will await him if he manages to win and claim the Irish title.
“I try not to [think about what winning would mean] but, to be honest, that is one of the reasons we took the fight.”
“It’s a chance to skip a few rungs of the ladder again. If they say he will be a big name off this then, if I win, can say the same. That’s what I am looking at.”
“They probably aren’t thinking like that, but that’s what I plan.”
Tickets for ‘Clash of the Titans’ cost €40 (general), €60 (ringside), and €100 (VIP) and are available from the boxers involved or Ticketmaster (CLICK HERE).