DERRY’S Sean McGlinchey feels his hopes of ever becoming National Elite Irish Senior champion have gone after he was forced to pull out of this season’s tournament through injury.
The Commonwealth bronze medal winner would have been viewed as one to watch in the light heavyweight division considering Darren O’Neill will compete at heavyweight and World ranked Joe Ward couldn’t weigh in due to the fact he is now an APB boxer.
However the Oak Leaf amateur had to pull out due to an illness picked up over the Christmas.
McGlinchey admits to being devastated, but not just because his chance to win the prestigious title has evaporated this year, but because he thinks it may be permanently gone.
“It’s a big blow,” he told the Derry Journal. “This is two years in a row now. It’s sickening because I’ve been training all over Christmas, I’ve been dieting which is even harder because I couldn’t train the last couple of weeks.
“I still kept hoping until the final minute but I knew in the back of my head that I wasn’t going to make it,” added McGlinchey. “For it to be taken away from you just like that by a simple illness, it’s heartbreaking. It’s just another untimely illness for me.”
McGlinchey is hoping his failure to compete at the championship won’t affect his chances of qualifying for next year’s Irish Olympic boxing squad, but he doesn’t foresee himself getting the chance to box for an Irish title again.
McGlinchey has pro ambitions and thinks he could be pro before this time next year.
“This is a massive year for me,” he insisted. “The decision didn’t come lightly. The Olympic qualifiers start this year I don’t want the other boys getting ahead of me.
“I have the confidence that I could do it. The best chance I’ve ever had of winning an Irish Senior title would have been this year. I would have been either favourite or second favourite to win.”
“It’s not the be all and end all. There’s no point in chasing it. If I really want to win it then I stay amateur and win it. I missed the opportunity and if it doesn’t work out for me this year then I don’t think I’ll be amateur for when the next seniors come around. So it probably was my last chance. It’s heartbreaking but I won’t dwell on it.”