Dylan McDonagh responds to catchweight issue ahead of Irish title fight

“Can I just add one thing,” Dylan McDonagh [3(1)-1(0)] says as our interview is coming to a close.

“Go ahead”

“I just hope Carl makes weight,” the Tallaght boxer says quite mischeviously.

We’re a few days out from ‘The Battle of Jobstown’ where, in the Celtic Clash 7 headline fight, McDonagh and Carl McDonald [4(0)-2(0)] will clash for the Irish super bantamweight title.

Two polite punchers, there has been little in the way of ‘beef’ in the build-up to the clash – for which ‘Round Zero’ was more a fascinating discussion rather than an opportunity to sling insults.

One issue, however, is the weight the fight will take place at – 120lbs, two pounds under the super bantamweight limit.

The last, and indeed only previous, Irish super bantamweight champion, Paulie Hyland, was especially critical of the catchweight agreement.

The former clubmate of McDonald is very much Team Cobra and told Irish-Boxing.com that the catchweight was “ridiculous”.

“You should fight at your weight for titles,” said Hyland. “I don’t get why you need to make it catchweight. Just make the designated weight and fight. You can understand a little more at the bigger weights maybe, but not down around super bantam.”

“Well, I don’t agree with it anyway, especially not for this fight. Carl’s last fight was at featherweight and Dylan’s at bantam so one is coming up and one going down. Just make 122lbs and get what is a good fight on.”

READ: Paulie Hyland slams Irish title catchweight

McDonagh, of course, disagrees with this.

A bantamweight (118lbs) who could arguably make super flyweight (115lbs), he sees no issue meeting in the middle.

“Look, I know some people aren’t happy,” he noted, in reference to Hyland while also pointing out that McDonald’s ‘featherweight’ fight was initially due to take place at super bantam before Colin O’Donovan was unable to make the weight.

Indeed, ‘The Firecracker’ is more than confident that his friendly rival is able to, and will, make the agreed catchweight.

“I’m a bantamweight, Carl’s a super bantamweight, why not meet in the middle? That’s fair, surely.”

“My whole pro career I’ve been at or under the bantamweight limit – I’m sitting at 117lbs after training now [Wednesday]!”

McDonagh has just finished the longest and best camp of his career – a camp which comes following the best performance of his career.

The 33-year-old, on extreme short notice, gave Commonwealth medallist and Matchroom starlet Sean McGoldrick a big scare in August, being edged out over eight rounds.

After that, with title eligibility secured, he began a camp which included sparring with top bantamweight Paul Butler.

Full of confidence, McDonagh is more than sure that he will take home the green belt on Saturday night

Recapping the last few months, ‘The Firecracker’ explained how “I was on the drink the week before but the McGoldrick fight was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down, even at just three or four days.”

“I did well and I was happy with myself and after that it was straight into camp for this fight.”

“I’d been over in Gallagher’s Gym before and we were back over again in this camp. Me and Paul had a great spar and Joe Gallagher said for me to come over again, I’ll be going over after this fight.”

“That gave me great confidence going into this fight with Carl, knowing I can mix it with the best, a former world champion.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)


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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