Cathy McAleer [4(1)-0] admits ‘wow finally’ was her first thought when she was offered a fight live on a big Sky Sports broadcast bill against a fighter she has previously called out.
A clash with the relatively high profile Shannon Courtenay [5(2)-1(0)] appeared to be the perfect early Christmas present.
However, the Belfast fighter claims while the wrapping was appealing and finished with a nice red bow, the present itself wasn’t actually what she had asked Santa for.
Kellie Maloney decided it best to knock back the short notice offer – and McAleer trusts the experienced managers judgement.
“My first thought was wow finally!” McAleer admits when talking to Irish-boxing.com.
“I called Shannon Courtenay out after my second fight at Europa Hotel when I TKO’d a common opponent in the second round, that fighter took Shannon the full 6 rounds. However, I got no response .
“Then my next thought was why now? All of a sudden when its been public for weeks I am fighting on Eurosport 11th December.
“Plus why has an offer come in on such short notice with no time to prep for 8 round event. I would also have to drop back to bantam weight as I came up weight for this event.”
You get the feeling McAleer may still have jumped at the chance. A win over Courtenay live on the same card as potential Belfast bill topper James Tennyson would have changed the trajectory of her career.
However, she has full faith in the woman that guided Lennox Lewis to legendary status.
“I have full trust and faith in Kellie Maloney . Everyone knows Kellie Maloney is top of her game,” she adds.
“Kellie has so much experience and knowledge in this sport and produced many champions.
“Kellie explained why she turned it down publicly on her social media, our reasons as a team to turn the fight down were explained.
“One thing is Kellie doesn’t hide nor be tricked easily . Kellie, is an open book and tells it how it is . That’s what I love about her and having her as my manager.”
McAleer opened up further with the reasoning behind turning down a fight many fans called for her to take.
The fighter, who twice saw Commonwealth title fights fall through, explained there was a loyalty element to Dennis Hobson, concerns over whether or not she would be prepped for eight rounds and some weight hurdles.
The former Kick boxer of note also suggested Courtenay, having suffered defeat to Rachell Ball isn’t the scalp she once was.
“Basically I had signed a four round fight contract with Dennis Hobson. Dennis provided me with a fight on Eurosport and I was so grateful to get this opportunity after so many cancellations.
“Not to mention to get that opportunity during covid, a tough time for any professional sports athletes to get opportunities and continue their progression in their sport.”
“Not to mention I have been in training for a four round fight and not an eight round fight. My current opponent is coming in super bantam, so I had to come up in weight and the Shannon fight offer was bantam, it was far too much to drop in the short time scale given.
“I was also offered the fight at short notice, that for any pro fighter is unfair . All pros deserve reasonable time frame to accept – prepare and sign for a fight.
“Shannon lost her last fight and in the past was certainly someone I wanted to fight as a stepping stone. However things have changed and now other boxers are climbing the ranks. My eyes are watching all to see who and where I need to be. I’ve one key focus and that’s to get a word title in a fourth discipline.”
The fight rebuff didn’t come because McAleer feels she needs more time to transition to boxing. She is adamant she has the beating of the Adam Booth trained fighter. Indeed, she believes she will go on to be a massive success in the sport.
“Yes of course 100% I am confident [I could beat her]. I stated at the very start, in my very first interview as a pro boxer : I was in professional boxing, to win a fourth word title in a fourth sport ! I don’t think it’s ever been done.
“I’ve 100% believe and confidence in my ability as an sportsperson. I also am aware boxers can have good days and bad days in competition. It’s all down to the night and everything coming together.
“For me I am driven and give 100% and have 100% believe in your own ability otherwise I am in the wrong sport. As the saying goes you “Certainly don’t play boxing” . Plus Dreams will never come true if you don’t have : Desire – Drive – Determination and Discipline.”
Most suggest McAleer may seek out Courtenay in the future and feel fighters like the Matchroom signed bantam are her ticket to the next level.
However, the all action entertainer doesn’t read it that way.
“I am confident I will fight for a world title in professional Boxing. If Shannon is the champion, I need to beat to get the opportunity or to win the title, then yes 100% the opportunity will come again.
“My Granny McAleer always said : “What’s for you will never pass you “. I will of course be watching this weekends fight and see who the Shannon’s opponent is also.
“Thankfully I’ve a very strong knowledgeable manager and the fights Kellie agrees to accept for me, will be on even terms and fair to all.”
McAleer returns on December 11 in a unique drive in fight night in Sheffield.