“I’m looking at the belt on my shoulder” – Evan Metcalfe picturing Elite final success


Evan Metcalfe is back and can picture a first National Elite Senior title being draped over his shoulder next weekend.

The Crumlin bantamweight reached his third final at the weekend, claiming a 4-1 split-decision semi-final win over Myles Casey to set up a decider on Saturday against Cork teenager Thomas McCarthy.

There was pure joy from Metcalfe following the decision on Friday night, a verdict which saw him exert revenge for a close flyweight final loss to the same Limerick opponent back in 2015.

“I knew I had to get him back, after the last time,” Metcalfe admitted to Irish-Boxing.com afterwards.

“Everyone thought that I got it the last time so, this year, I wasn’t leaving it with the judges.”

“It was playing in my head as I got in the ring there, I was thinking ‘I’m going to get this fucker back, he ain’t beating me again’.”

“My gameplan worked, I caught him with the right hand, I caught him with the bodyshots.”

The 25-year-old, older brother of super featherweight pro Aiden, becomes the first finalist from the newly-formed Hyland Boxing Academy in Tallaght.

Coached by former world title challenger Pajo Hyland and former EU champion Paulie Hyland, Metcalfe has been reinvigorated by the move.

“Words can’t describe how much these boys have helped me, what they’ve done for me,” he said.

“I’m in a better place now than any of the years I’ve been boxing, in my own mind, physically, mentally, I’m ready for it this year. I’m ready for them all this year.”

Denied previously by Casey and amateur legend Paddy Barnes, Metcalfe believes that 2018 is his year.

McCarthy, runner-up last year at flyweight, is the last hurdle but Metcalfe is determined to make the breakthrough step.

He outlined how it is “another year, another year I’ve gotten to the final. I beat the boy I beat last year, Adam Courtney, then Casey, and the two boys that boxed last year in the final [Kurt Walker and Stevie McKenna] are gone.”

“In my mind, I’m looking at the belt on my shoulder. No-one else is going to take it, that’s mine this year.”

“I don’t care what they box like, who they are, what coaches they have behind them – once they get in there with me, there is no-one who hits as hard as me, I know that.”

dpg

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