Of all the new pros entering the Irish fight scene in 2017, Jobstown’s Dylan McDonagh probably has the most varied background.
The 31 year old bantamweight is a relative latecomer to boxing, but he has plenty of experience in fighting.
Between Thai Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts, the Tallaght fighter has been trading blows for many a year, but will box professionally for the first time on Saturday April 1st.
McDonagh is set to feature on the inaugural It’s A Bout Boxing Ireland card at the National Stadium, and he notes how it has been a long time coming.
The Dubliner spoke to Irish-Boxing.com today about his fighting history and outlined how “I started Thai Boxing out of Bridgestone in town and I fought for them for a good couple of years. Thai Boxing is where I got my style. It gives you an aggressive style, come forward. But, with Thai Boxing, you don’t get the angles, it’s all come forward, straight-on all the time.
“I went into boxing with Frank [Stacey, Westside BC] and I won the Dublin, Leinster, and All-Irelands Novices then I kind of dropped out for about two years.”
“I came back and just got the hunger for it again and, while I was boxing with Frank, I went to SBG [John Kavanagh’s MMA gym, and the base of two-weight UFC champion Conor McGregor] and was training down there as well. I was kind of split between the two of them – but I wasn’t giving enough time to SBG because I think my style suited me going back to boxing.”
“I went on to the Intermediates, lost in the quarter finals [to current pro and fellow Tallaght boxer Carl McDonald] and then fought there in November on Jay Byrne’s semi pro show. It [the semi-pro fight] was four two-minute rounds, which was too short. I said to Frank after the third round that I could’ve gone for six rounds, I had barely broken a sweat.”
Had things gone differently, McDonagh may have ended up in the octagon rather than the ring, having impressed at SBG. He revealed how “I sparred them all down in SBG and I held my own against all them. I sparred against Artem Lobov and I found him, I wont say easy, but I could hold my own against him. [Coach] John Kavanagh was saying to me to come and join an MMA team but then my mam took sick around that time so I left that [MMA] to the side and went back to boxing.”
A self-confessed ‘gym rat,’ McDonagh is eager to begin his pro journey, and believes that his relatively advanced age wont prove a hindrance. Most importantly, McDonagh wants to be busy, and he said that “I think I should have turned pro years ago, I think I’m suited to the pro game, 31 is only a number, I feel like I am 21. I feel fresh and ready to go, it’s as simple as that.”
“The gameplan is to, please God, do well in this fight, obviously win and put a show on, and then just keep going. I said to Frank, ‘as soon as that show is over, I’m ready, keep me going,’ I’m ready for the whole year, no matter what.”
“I’m ready to just get the record up and put on a good show and see where it goes from there. I’ve seen people turning pro and I’ve thought ‘I could beat them,’ and I’ve sparred good people as well, very good people.”
Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey look ahead to 2017 in episode 1 of The Irish Boxing Show