The 24-year-old was returning to ring for the first time in two years and considering he was facing Zoltan Horvath – the fighter that all but sent him into retirement – McShane would have been forgiven for letting the emotions get the better of him.
However, the man they call ‘Insane’ was intent on being cold and rational upon his return and went as far as ditching the Hannibal Lector attire he wore to the ring in his previous 10 fights. He got rid of the mask, the persona, and channelled the mad fighting style.
“We had a gameplan going into the fight and obviously it worked out. We knew from the last fight not to get messy with this guy. Whenever he holds on he pulls so this time we decided to keep our distance. I was catching him with the jab and when was leaning in I was catching him with uppercuts or to the body,” McShane explained after the fight.
“I stuck to the boxing a bit more rather than the usual Insane McShane. That is why I didn’t come out with the mask. I just decided to change it. I suppose the question now is will I go in for a fight every time I wear it. Who knows?”
“This was all about skill. I had sparring with World #4 James Tennyson and he though me some things. I had Ronnie Clarke in for height and, to get my feet moving a wee bit more, I had Stevie Quinn Jr and they really helped me.”
There was, of course, showboating from McShane who threw in plenty of Ali shuffles and even some Ricardo Mayorga-stye goading and offering free shots.
The eager to please entertainer was certainly enjoying his return to the spotlight, but claims there was something different to his showboating upon his return.
“From the first round I was in there I was enjoying it. When I got the feel of the crowd I loved it. I didn’t play to the crowd like before, I enjoyed it with them in a boxing way rather than play act or try just knock this lad out like before. He is a tough nut for a small lad.”
Considering it’s been almost three years since McShane last fought, little was made of the shoulder injury that resulted in his Horvath defeat and subsequent break from the game.
The fighter himself wasn’t overly worried going into the fight, but admits it was a concern before his first spar.
“The first spar, I didn’t want to get in there. The shoulder was always in the back of my mind, but once I got in there I was fine. You realise how much you miss it and how much you love it within seconds. I know it sounds crazy but you just get a real buzz from being hit in the face.”
The Belfast Kronk fighter was adamant his return is permanent but is oblivious as to what manager Mark Dunlop and his team have planned next.
McShane, who returned to some fanfare at the Europa Hotel on Saturday, could hear his team plotting in the build up to his revenge mission, but didn’t want earwig as he wanted his focus to remain solely on his diminutive Hungarian opponent.
“My team have been talking and planning but I haven’t been paying attention. My focus was on this guy because if I didn’t deal with him then I wouldn’t be going anywhere.”
“The team have been talking and planning ahead that’s their job, so I’ll get to talking to them over the next week and see where we are at. ”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)