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‘I plan to make McGivern a household name across the world’ – McGivern confident ahead of Euro Games

The European Games are step one along a path of making James McGivern a household name around the world.

The St Georges BC fighter was earmarked as one to watch when he as a youth he would medals in the Commonwealth and European Youth Championships, but established himself as a senior fighter of note over the last 12 months.

A bronze in the 2018 Commonwealth Games and light welterweight National Elite Championship victory early this year saw the southpaw gain a reputation domestically.

The 21-year-old Toyko hopeful now wants to start making his mark internationally and believes the hype surrounding the European Games, which glove off in Minsk this Friday, will help him achieve that.

“There are a lot more TV cameras out there now I’m a senior. This is the start of my career I fully plan to make McGivern a household name across the world,” McGivern told Irish-boxing.com.

There will be added spotlight on stylist in this tournament, but he points out that is more a bonus rather than a motivating factor.

Winning is always driving force behind the young talent and gold always the goal.

“The target remains the same whether it’s the Antrim novices or the Olympics- a gold medal is all I set out for.”

Achieving that goal and winning gold could prove more difficult in the European Games than some of the more established tournaments warns the Belfast southpaw.

McGivern knows he will have to beat some experienced talents to reach the top of the podium and accepts there are no easy fights at this level.

“Some people would say it’s harder to medal at the Europeans than it is to medal at the Worlds. This tournament has so many good boxing nations. Not to mention I’m a senior now so there’s no easy fights out there anymore. This is a major tournament.”

The 2015 installment of the Games was seen as a tournament to add experience and confidence in an Olympic qualifying year.

However, with the 2019 World’s and European Championships now not acting as gateways to Tokyo things are a little different. Indeed, McGivern points out performing is now important to ensure he is deemed the #1 light welterweight in Ireland and best option for likely 2020 Olympic qualifiers.

“Olympic qualification is very up in the air as we don’t know what we have to do book the ticket to Tokyo, but within Ireland there is so much competition at every weight we need to be performing at every tournament we weigh in for,” he adds before revealing he has really enjoyed his time with the High Performance squad.

“I’ve been in Dublin week in week out working on new things with the coaches, I’m improving every session. I’ve really fallen in love with boxing and learning my craft.”

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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 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