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Don’t Call It A Comeback – Christina McMahon knows she has nothing to prove following ring return

“The only thing we truly own in this life are moments in time.”

‘Powerful’ words from former Irish heavyweight champion Tyson Fury that have resinated with Christina McMahon [8(4)-2].

So much so that she is taking a moment by moment appraoch to her boxing career moving forward.

The popular Monaghan super fly returned to the ring in Luxembourg after five years out and enjoyed victory for the first time 2015, stopping Andrea Jenei in under three rounds.

The relatively out-of-the-blue return caught many by surprise and left everyone wondering whether the experienced combat sports operator had come back for one last spin or has fight plans beyond last weekend.

Irish-boxing.com can reveal the Carrickmacross favourite is happy to have had her moment in the BeNeLux country last Saturday AND will be happy if she enjoys more fight moments in the future.

McMahon doesn’t feel she has anything to prove and hasn’t any set targets, instead the soon-to-be-47-year-old just seems intent on enjoying any opportunities that come her way.

“I have no big plans but at the same time I’m not announcing retirement,” she told Irish-Boxing.com this week.

“We will be long enough retired in life. I feel alive and well and as I heard Tyson Fury say recently – we only own one thing and that is ‘moments in time’. Powerful words!”

“No one can take away your moment in time. I have two world belts sitting in my living room from two different sports kickboxing and boxing,” adds the former WBC interim world bantam titleholder.

There will be some who will raise questions around McMahon’s age but, at this stage, other people’s opinions are irrelevant to the always-game competitor.

The Peak Fitness boss says she is on her own journey and outside comments don’t register.

“I’m not here to prove anything to anybody or here for the glory. I’m here for me. I’m on a personal journey of ‘what if we can at this age’,
as the quote suggests.”

“When someone tells you it can’t be done it’s more a reflection of their limitations, not yours,” she continues, producing more words of wisdom.

McMahon even takes a unique view of Saturday’s win. The fight or the result wasn’t about opening doors to future fights or any political positioning. Indeed, victory was achieved before the two-time world title challenger had her hand raised.

“Winning is always great, however, the big win for me was breaking down barriers as a female and getting back into the ring and doing what I love. I feel proud of myself, again it was personal journey. I find it so challenging and rewarding as a person, it means nothing to anyone else,” she adds before revealing she never really retired.

“I didn’t mention retirement, although with so many years passing you could definitely call [last Saturday] a comeback fight.

“A few fights fell through over the years and I had to move on and focus on building my business, Peak Fitness, so I put all energy into that instead. Then COVID hit and I decided to use the time and train like a full time athlete. I never have that opportunity in my kickboxing or boxing career. I was doing a lot of online classes and that kept me conditioned too.”

Many have wondered how McMahon felt about just proceeding the women’s boxing boom. One of many Monaghan’s noteworthy fighters would have watched as others have secured moments in the spotlight on Sky Sports shows in particular and fought for decent purses not long after she was one of the more noteworthy operators on the British and Irish scene.

She seems to take joy in the current state of the game and certainly isn’t jealous. However, she does at times feels she deserves more respect for what she has achieved to date. McMahon argues she should be deemed a world champion without ‘interim’ caveats been thrown in.

“It’s not frustrating at all,” she answers when asked about her feelings toward the current lay of the land.

“In fact it’s great. When things evolve positively it can only be a good thing. What might be slightly frustrating is being dismissed sometimes. I have the green WBC belt and sometimes its not acknowledged or mentioned as a world champion. The Interim belt is the world title put up when a reigning champion is not available to box. I boxed Catherine Phiri for that world title and won.”

“The winner was to box the Mexican girl next. Politics revealed itself and I got a choice to rematch Phiri back in Zambia or box two weights categories up against Alica Ashley in New York. If we brought Catherine Phiri to Ireland it would cost dearly. I couldn’t afford that financially so we chose to fight in New York. Catherine Phiri, my opponent went to Mexico and knocked the world champ out in six rounds, thats where I was in the game at bantamweight. so for me, that was frustrating.”

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com