Cathy McAleer proud to prove pro boxing credentials following debut WAR

Cathy McAleer [1(0)-0] was given the proverbial baptism of fire on Saturday night.

The former karate and kickboxing champion has made the transition to boxing at the age of 40 and made her professional debut at the Shorts Sports and Social Club on the ‘Back in Belfast’ card.

The Belfast bantamweight, in her first boxing bout ever having had zero amateur experience, was given a touch match in battle-hardened Bulgarian Teodora Hristova.

An eight-minute war, McAleer scrapped and scraped her way to a narrow 40-38 win, withstanding a gallant display from Hristova to register a debut victory.

Cut in the opening seconds, the determined convert could have wilted but instead fought it out in what was the fight of the night in East Belfast.

Looking back on the slugfest, McAleer told that “it was a tough one. I knew I had nerves coming in, I wanted to make an impression. I had a lot of support with me too.”

“Her head collided with me and I knew straight away I was cut but I’ve had a lot worse injuries before.””I started off with the tactic of going forward but we soon realised that she was coming right for me. She was holding and we were being broken and she was throwing in sly hooks.”

“The jab worked for me and looking in hindsight I probably should have moved more but, with first fight nerves, I stayed in there and probably took more than I should have.”

“In the second and third rounds the jab was really working for me, I started to come into it. The body shots, too, were good. Looking back I would have done a few wee things different but I’m glad I got the win.”

It was an important moment for McAleer who was keen to prove herself in yet another discipline and the newest member of the Breen Team now wants to progress.

McAleer outlined how “I enjoyed it, I’m glad it was a tough fight, I didn’t want an easy fight, I didn’t want a walkover. I’m glad it went well, I wanted to challenge myself and see if I have the ability to be a professional boxer.”

“I don’t want to be in the bottom ranks fighting people who aren’t good so it gives me an indication of where I am.”

“I’m here to give it a good go. This is me starting off, I’m going to learn from this and move on quickly. I’m here to stay!

“John [Breen] was happy, he was happy it was a tough fight, he didn’t want someone that was just picked up off the street. He was pleased that I showed I had a bit of guts and determination.”

“I’ll pick up a lot from that, me and John will look at it and we will go back and work again, change a few things.”


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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: