He doesn’t know who he fights or even what style of boxing he will employ but Shane McMcConnell is certain of one thing, his debut won’t be boring.
The Waterford fighter is one of two Irish boxing debutants out this weekend – Maurice Falvey being the other. He punches for pay for the first time on a on the Ring King’s ‘Homecoming’ card and comes to boxing promising entertainment.
Indeed, if he fights as well as he talks he could follow in the footsteps of fellow recent code crossers Jamie Morrissey and Dylan Wilson to be a more than welcome addition to the scene.
McConnell, a student of none other than Pete Taylor, has plenty of fight experience but this Saturday at the SETU Arena will be his first time in competitive boxing action.
Considering he has been a brawler and a dancer in his past fight lives he can’t tell fans what to expect style-wise as he starts his latest combat chapter.
He doesn’t know himself!
However, while there is a degree of mystery surrounding how he’ll approach the fight he is adamant entertainment is a certainty.
“That’s a very standard question that I honestly don’t have an answer to,” he responds when asked what fans can expect from him.
“I kickboxed for years and exclusively fought off the back foot, then after years of Muay Thai I became very aggressive and would always march forward. Now that I’m going to box who knows what my body will want me to do in there? The only thing I can guarantee is that it won’t be dull,” he adds.
“This weekend all I predict is entertainment. Hopefully, it’s a performance that people will enjoy watching and want to see again.”
There may not be a fixed style in terms of fighting as of yet for McConnell but he certainly has a unique style in terms of how he approaches interviews.
The latest Deise to enter the pro ranks is thoughtful in his responses and appears a cliché-free zone. Even when it comes to discussing excitement levels ahead of his first-ever boxing bout, the former Irish Muay Thai champion is different.
McConnell isn’t so much looking forward to fighting on Saturday, rather he is excited about the possibility of having his hand raised after trading leather again.
“I’m incredibly excited but in all honesty, I have always loved winning more than fighting itself, so I’m most looking forward to getting it done and over with,” he adds before suggesting he wants to get the job done quickly.
“It’s been three years since I was in a ring and I’m very much looking forward to walking in and hopefully quickly back out of one.”
McConnell’s path to the pro ring has its roots in sadness but there is an element that most boxers will be able to associate with, a supportive partner.
“I decided to turn over to boxing about 18 months ago, after the loss of my mother I was left with a bit of an existential “what will I do with myself” question, at first I thought the answer was a steady income and a more secure life but after a few months of working full time I was miserable. My girlfriend actually is owed a lot of credit for me deciding to give fighting as a career one last all-in-go, so here we are now at the first big step a year and a half later.”
McConnell has long-term goals and ambitions and if he wants to make boxing his full-time career he will have to reach a high level. However, for now, his focus is solely on making improvements.
“My short-term goals are just all focused on my training and getting myself to the level where nobody would ever guess I’ve never boxed before,” he adds before claiming he is with the right man to ensure he improves.
“I have zero amateur boxing background but I have been training one fight sport or another for 23 years, so I’m the most experienced inexperienced boxer you might meet. For the last year I’ve been training under Pete Taylor and it has been a privilege to be able to jump so far into the deep end and I believe it will stand to me in the ring as he is a world-renowned trainer.”