“I’ll fight anyone” – Stephen McAfee hoping for Irish title chance


Stephen McAfee [5(2)-0-1] didn’t get the chance to fight for the Irish super featherweight title as planned on Saturday night but the Sallynoggin slugger was happy to get some more schooling in before a shot at the belt next year.

The BUI Celtic champion and Irish title mandatory was due to face Feargal McCrory on the Celtic Clash 7 card at Good Counsel GAA Club before the Tyrone southpaw pulled out with a hand injury earlier this month.

McAfee instead boxed tough Pole Michal Krawczyk and banked six dominant rounds in Drimnagh, something which, in hindsight, he is happy with.

‘Showtime’ Stephen told Irish-Boxing.com afterwards that “it was a learning fight, that’s exactly what it was, I wanted to learn, not rush things.”

“I was picking shots and being calm, see the shots, rather than go out hell for leather.”

“It was still only my sixth fight, I’m moving so quick so I just wanted to hold back and learn.”

McAfee admits that he could of stopped his fellow former kickboxer but held back.

Hurting the Pole to the body in the third, the Jonathan Lewins-trained McAfee would go on the back-foot afterwards

The 27-year-old described how “I hit him a nice body shot and I saw, and heard, him bothered but he grabbed me in a headlock and the bell came.”

“I was happy enough with the rounds, just getting the fight was the main thing. It was hard taking that news, it took the life out of me, I had to get the head back down.”

McAfee remains the mandatory for the Irish title and has been given assurances by Boxing Ireland that he will fight for belt in the new year.

A refixed match-up with McCrory [9(3)-0] looks unlikely, with the Coalisland man down to fight in Belfast in February.

Currently there are a lack of eligible super featherweights but the likes of Allan Phelan and Niall O’Connor may soon be able to fight the for the strap should they compete in a scheduled eight-round contest while the returning Eric Donovan could also perhaps fancy a fight at the higher weight.

McAfee just wants to fight and pledges that “I don’t mind, I’ll fight anyone.”

“I let the coach do all that to be honest but I’ll fight anyone, I’ve done that my whole career in whatever sport I’m in, kickboxing, boxing, I never turn fights down.”

“I just do my training and fight.”

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