Genuine Olympic Tokyo 2020 option ditches the vest and turns pro

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James McGivern has become the highest profile name to join the pro ranks in 2020.

The Belfast fighter has today confirmed he has signed pro terms with MTK Global and will punch for pay in the future.

The Commonwealth Games medal winner becomes the seventh Irish fighter to turn over in 2020, but stands out as the most high profile amateur defector.

Not only is McGivern decorate having won the medals in the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and the Apia hosted youth equivalent 2015, but in early 2019 he was deemed one of the leading light welterweights in the country.

Indeed, he won the 2019 National Elite Championships and at that time look to be in Tokyo 2020 pole.

The St Georges ABC graduate spoke dreamly about going to the Olympics at that time and was adamant he was going to secure a slot.

The 21-year-old was first pick for the European Games at light welter and reached the last 16 in Minsk.

However, things went quiet very quickly after. McGivern didn’t enter the second National Elite Championships of the year and wasn’t on the radar in the second half of the year.

It’s not sure if had put himself forward for Olympic qualifier selection, but he wasn’t named in the 13 person team heading for London next month.

Today he confirmed he is turning pro and has signed with MTK.

McGivern said: “Some of the biggest names in boxing are signed with MTK Global, so to put my name in there amongst them is pretty exciting. I’m buzzing to get up on the level of the big names and really start showcasing myself as a boxer.

“I won a lot as an amateur, including a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games and gold at the Youth Games, as well as numerous European and National titles.

“This is a new chapter in my life and I’ll be fighting at home now more often in front of my friends and family and my own fan base, so it’s a really exciting time for myself.

“Boxing in Ireland at the minute is amazing. Fighting at home is going to be massive for me and I want to make Belfast the hub of boxing. Everyone heads off across the world for camps, but I want people coming here for camps. That’s my big goal as Ireland is a boxing country and I’m going to make Belfast the Las Vegas of boxing.

“Hopefully in April I’ll be started. I’ve been training and I’m busting to get fighting as I haven’t fought in a while. I know MTK Global will lead me along the right path and I’m ready to run through everyone who’s put in front of me, so remember my name.”

News on McGivern’s professional debut will be announced in due course. The 21-year-old joins Fearghus Quinn and Paul McCullagh as new Irish MTK pros and also joins Ryan O’Rourke, Allan O’Connor, Jason Harty and Alan O’Reilly as a new year new pro.

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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 sport for a living for 19 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: [email protected]