Carl McDonald and Dylan McDonagh both supremely confident ahead of title clash


Two quietly confident characters will do battle for the Irish super bantamweight title tomorrow night.

Carl McDonald and Dylan McDonagh meet in ‘The Battle of Jobstown’ – the headline attraction on ‘Celtic Clash 7’ at Good Counsel GAA Club.

Both are convinced that they will be crowned super bantamweight king of Ireland on the night and most find the match-up too tight to call.

McDonald, the last Golden Cobra hopes to claim a belt last held by team-mate Paulie Hyland over ten years ago and is ready to go through his local rival to get it.

There’s no bad blood between the pair, far from it. The two will share a drink afterwards, no doubt , but 29-year-old McDonald believes he will be too good for McDonagh in the ring and he doesn’t mind saying so.

“I think I’ll win comfortably,” declares McDonald. “As long as I’m on my game, I think I’ll win hands down. I’m 100% confident – and I’m sure he’s as confident – but I know what it takes, I know what I have to do, and what I will do to win the fight, and I will win the fight. It’s going to be fight of the night and it could easily be a contender for Fight of the Year.”

“After Celtic Clash 5 and Celtic Clash 6 we went out afterwards and had a few drinks. There’s no rivalry, I have no hard feelings toward Dylan and he’ll tell you the exact same about me. The only rivalry there, and we’d laugh and joke about it, is Westside and Golden Cobra. That adds a little spice to it but nothing bad, just friendly banter.”

A massive fight for both boxers, it is also a massive fight for Jobstown and McDonald is keen to do the area proud.

“Jobstown’s a great community in itself,” says the proud fighter. “When somebody is doing something for themselves, everyone recognises it and nobody begrudges you. Everybody likes to see people do well for themselves in the area. There’s more good stories than bad ones but it’s like everything, the bad stories top everything and they’re from a small minority. All in all, it’s a great community.”

Like McDonald, McDonagh holds no grudges going into their Irish super bantamweight title fight but that doesn’t mean that ‘The Firecracker’ won’t go to war.

The 33-year-old, regularly described as one of the nicest guys in Irish boxing, is a demon in the ring with a work-rate that defies belief and he is predicting a toe-to-toe battle.

In oversimplified terms – most would describe McDonald as ‘the boxer’ and McDonagh as ‘the fighter’, with McDonald enjoying a longer and more decorated amateur career which included a win over McDonagh. However, since moving to the pros, McDonagh and his left hook have been making waves and the Westside BC graduate believes he can overwhelm his rival.

“Fans can expect a war, it’s going to be really, really exciting,” promises McDonagh. “I don’t think anyone is going to be taking a backwards step. I am ready to be unleashed. These are the type of fights I want. It’s going to be a super fight between the two of us. I think we’ve proven in the last 12 months that we really deserve this shot. To say I’m excited about this fight is an understatement.

While there is history, there is no bad blood between the pair who are more concerned with representing themselves and their area than descending into trash talk.

McDonagh explained how “I fought Carl in the amateurs and I lost by split decision. You always have that in the back of your head – but Carl’s cool. The two of us are from Jobstown, we’re just two lads from the same area that want to bash each other up for the Irish title, it’s great for the whole of the Tallaght community. I’ve never felt more ready in my life. I believe that belt is coming back with me, no matter what, I’ll go into the trenches for it if I have to.”

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie