Brett McGinty [6(1)-0] has put the Irish light middleweights on notice.
The Donegal fighter has set his sights on all Irish clashes and domestic titles after making a successful Irish debut at the National Stadium just over a week ago.
On the same night as Owen O’Neill won the BUI Celtic title at 154lbs in Belfast and on a card topped by Irish light middleweight champion Craig O’Brien, the Ricky Hatton trained fighter defeated Italian Alessandro Ruggiero in entertaining fashion and in front of large vocal support.
Having tasted fighting in Ireland, the Jason Quigley guided fighter wants a second helping, and having moved to 6-0 with two six rounders under his belt he seems to be eying up a BUI Celtic title shot.
“I would like to look at a domestic title,” he says.
“I moved up to six rounds for this, but my debut was a six-rounder so that’s two of those in six fights. A Celtic title would be eight and an Irish title ten. I want to start moving in that direction. I don’t want to be hanging around now.”
McGinty also seems bouyed by the fact he was in a bit of a fight the weekend, relishing the challenge and looking for more.
“I have always complained of fighting journeymen who aren’t interested in fighting, but I got someone here who was bang up for a fight. That was good for me.”
With McGinty’s promoter Mick Hennessy losing his Channel 5 deal, the St Johnstone fighter does find himself in a bit of limbo. His ticket-selling capabilities suggest he could top a bill in his home county, plus that supports willingness to travel in numbers makes him attractive to any promoter running a show on the island.
Fighting at home still appeals and could be the answer for now.
“I hope this is the first of a series of shows. Jason (Quigley) has been eager to get involved. This country has been starved of pro boxing. The lack of shows has been absolutely criminal, but hopefully this is the start of it. Hopefully this isn’t just a rare occasion. With Jason and Sheer working hard for me, hopefully this is the start of busy activity for me now.”
Reflecting on his sixth career win on the Rising out of the Ashes card, McGinty was upbeat. The former Oakleaf amateur was happy to get game opposition and to be made work from start to finish.
“Overall, I’m happy. He was a very game opponent. We knew nothing, absolutely zero about him, coming in. All we could see was his record. There was no footage of him at all. He has done an eight-rounder and five or six six-rounders, so I expected him to be tough – and he was that,” he adds before revealing there was one stage of the fight his coach Ricky Hatton wasn’t overjoyed with.
“I was a bit sloppy in the fifth and my hand was giving me a bit of trouble, but I switched on again. Ricky had a bit of a go at me in the corner after the fifth, but I got back to the game plan again in the sixth. I was all right-handed in the last two rounds and I probably looked right-hand happy, but it was what I had to do.”
“That’s six valuable rounds against a tough man. We didn’t have a clue about him until getting in there, but we expected a tough one – and got it. I was ready for this tonight and I got a good, solid six rounds in.”
As well as comments with regard to the 23-year-old’s entertaining style, there was a lot of talk about his fan base and the noise they made.
The passionate support and the National Stadium takeover didn’t go unnoticed.
“There were some nerves, especially with that crowd. I was up in the dressing room and could hear them. It was brilliant. Everyone was coming up from fighters to coaches and saying: ‘Your crowd is brilliant’. They were roaring my name all night, even between the other fights, and I appreciate every single one of them for coming down to support me.
“It’s coming up to Christmas and they’re buying tickets, getting busses down, paying for hotels. The prices are absolute madness so I definitely appreciate their support. It was absolutely brilliant to fight in front of them.
“It was something different to get a crowd like that; it was unreal. To be honest, the way he came out in the first round too, there was pressure. I had to live up to some kind of a performance. He threw more punches in the first minute than he did in any other minute. I just had to compose myself and edge myself into my own fight.”
Photo Credit Sheer Sports