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‘And he can cook’ – Cathy McAleer full of praise for new stablemate

Cathy McAleer believes she has benefted from training alongside the gifted Mike Perez in the build up to her return to the ring.

The Kellie Maloney managed fighter fights for the first time since her surprise defeat to Gabriella Mezei, suffered in Sheffield in December 2020, on Celtic Clash 11 in Spain next week.

She has been preparing for that clash with British-based Spaniard Natasha ‘Doesn’t like’ Boyes alongside the Cuban, who is set to end his own ring sabbatical with a fight in  Dubai on July 10.

The Cork Cuban and the Belfast battler worked side by side in camp for nine weeks and the 43-year-old says she gained more than just experience by having the natural talent as a training partnet.

McAleer explains she has a new friend, who provided company and played chef during camp.

“Mike stayed with me in Belfast for 9 weeks and went camp 6 days a week. It was great to have an opportunity to train alongside Mike, such an experience and talented professional fighter. Having a training partner for morning runs, boxing sessions, sparring, cooking and he can cook was great. I’ve met a great friend and I look forward to seeing him back in the ring soon,” the former kickboxing and karate standout told Irish-boxing.com before speaking on the cruiserweight’s talent.

“Mike is a very talented and gifted fighter. I’ve seen and trained with many cruiser and heavyweight fighters, but never seen or shared a ring with one that can create angles and move with speed like that. Mike does at ease.”

McAleer had previously set about moving her camps to England where she felt it easier to get regular female sparring. However, with the pandemic and some issues at home, the all action operator was keen to train in Belfast, as was Perez it seems – and the pair became stablemates.

“With lockdown, I had to leave Guilford and return due to restrictions and to be close by my parents, as Dad was coming to end of chemo and Mum just over a knee replacement. Kellie called Alio [Wilton] and Bernardo [Checa] and asked could they keep me ticking over with training during the lockdowns. I was training three days a week in Eastside Boxing club and doing my own fitness. Then Mike Perez had made contact with his old coach Bernardo and he joined me at camp.”

McAleer is set to fight next Saturday in Alicante on Boxing Ireland’s Celtic Clash 11 card alongside the likes of Owen O’Neill, Kevin Cronin, Robbie Burke, Martin Quinn, Stephen McAfee, Jake Hanney, Dominic Donegan and more.

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com