Actions speak louder than words -Brett McGinty inspired by Hatton’s comeback

Brett McGinty [5(1)-0]  can’t help but be inspired by his coach Ricky Hatton going into his Irish debut this weekend.

The Donegal prospect both trained alongside and under ‘The Hitman’ ahead of his fight with Alessandro Ruggiero [6(1)-10(1)-2] on the Rising out of the Ashes card on Saturday.

The Jason Quigley managed talent was preparing for his return to the National Stadium, a venue he last graced as an amateur, at the same time as the British fight legend and his coach was preparing to return to the ring to face fellow boxing great Marco Antonio Barrera, in an exhibition bout, last Saturday night.

Not only did it mean McGinty went from getting pads with the Manchester favourite to sparring him, but also allowed him to see up close and personal how the former world champion approaches training and a fight, meaning he could draw inspiration from both Hatton’s action and words throughout camp.

“I have to say, I’ve been with Ricky for a few years. You almost forgot just how big of a draw he was and how loved he is. Seeing all that once again around the gym, the amount of TV cameras that came in was crazy,” he said.

“To then see the actual spectacle on Saturday night was crazy. He is an inspiration and what he’s done over the last number of weeks will have inspired and motivated so many people.

“I was looking at a video of us from a fight this time last year and it was of us warming up. The weight he’s shifted since then and the condition he’s got himself in is unbelievable.

“Ricky’s issues were well documented, the mental health ones especially. And there is absolutely no doubt he’s given others hope with how he’s handled all of that. There was a real feel good factor attached to the entire process and the fight itself, the exhibition, was also enjoyable.”

McGinty will fight in Ireland for the very first time as a professional this Saturday night.

The St Johnston native returns to the South Circular Road, a venue he fought so many times at as an amateur against Italian opposition.

A shoulder injury and the fact promoter Mick Hennessy lost his Channel 5 deal meant McGinty has fought just once this year, not an ideal scenario but one he has tried to make work for him.

“It was a frustrating time,” McGinty admitted. “I started this year injured, I’d a bad tear on my shoulder towards the end of 2021. I didn’t really get back into full training until last March.

“I had my first fight after the injury back in May. Ideally, I would have liked to have had one if not two fights between now and then but it just didn’t work out that way.

“That’s boxing. But the silver lining in all of that is that I’ve had that extra time to just keep building the area up. And now, I’m looking forward to my first fight at home, in the National Stadium.

“It’s really exciting. I’ll not lie – I would have liked to have been more active. But the hope now is that this really is the start of it. It’s unlikely that I will fight again before the end of the year.

“But, like I said, this will hopefully set me up for bigger things now in 2023.”

McGinty always brought a large crowd from both St Johnston and OakLeaf ABC the purpose-built boxing stadium in his vest-wearing days, and expects them to turn out in force again this weekend.

“It’s brilliant to be looking forward to a home pro debut in a venue I’m already so familiar with and have had success in. There are a couple of hundred of them going up the road. And I really appreciate that support. It will be a special night for me.”

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