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Captain McGinty – “Our team is a very talented team, a potentially great team”

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From chatting to the nine-man Irish team that will compete in the World Youth Championships in Russia this week, it is quickly apparent why Brett McGinty has been chosen as the captain of the squad.

The Oak Leaf BC welter is the definition of a wise head on young shoulders, and has the sort of inspiring rhetoric that would out-do his fellow Donegal man Seamus Coleman.

A regular participant in international tournaments, McGinty won European Schoolboys bronze in 2012, and last year took home Commonwealth Youth silver.

One of the more experienced members of the team, the eight-time Irish champion told that “it’s good to have that international experience behind you, so it’s not like you’re getting into the ring for the first time against an international opponent who’s more than likely a national champion and one of the best boxers in his country.”

“It’s good to know that I have that there and have that experience. Now I can go to the Worlds and, whoever I face, chances are I’ll have as much experience as them, if not more.”

“But, it’s all about who turns up on the day, who’s hungrier, has the bigger heart, and who wants it more”

A concussive puncher, McGinty is aware of the need to find a balance, especially in the 3x3minute format. He described how “I don’t go in there expecting to stop anybody or to knock someone out. It’s a great thing to have [power] in the locker. There’s nothing better than going in and expecting three rounds, then getting the person out of there in the first or the second, or even the third.”

“But you can’t be going in there expecting to knock a man out, because whatever game plan you have goes out the window when you’re looking for big power shots. Even in throwing those big power shots, you can get caught with silly shots that knock your head back, and you can lose concentration, lose focus.”

The results at the Rio Olympics aside, McGinty is part of a generation of Irish boxers who have grown up knowing nothing else but success. The Ulster teen therefore leads the team into the tournament in St Petersburg with medals in their sights. He stressed that “you have to go for gold. John [Conlan] would always talk about it, ‘aim for a gold medal, why wouldn’t you?'”

“Our team is a very talented team, a potentially great team in my opinion. Why wouldn’t we aim for gold? We’re training as hard as anybody, we’re preparing as well as anybody, we’re as talented as anybody, we’re as fit and strong as anybody.”

“The sky’s the limit and we’ll go for gold.”

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: