Ireland’s youngest pro ready to come out of Mexico and into 2020 ‘guns blazing’

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James Power [4(4)-0] is ready to come out of Mexico ‘all guns blazing’.

Ireland’s youngest pro boxer fights for the first time since completing his Leaving Cert in Tijuana tomorrow night and is determined to secure victory so he can focus on his 2020 vision.

At just 18 the Cork fighter is aware he doesn’t need big fights or a break out 12 months, but the Macroom man is hoping to settle further Stateside and become busy.

The teen has been in LA as a guest of Sheer Sports, who manage Jason Quigley, Aaron McKenna, Stevie McKenna and Bret McGinty, and whilst nothing has been officially signed, he seems to indicate that they may give him the stability he needs to operate at full tilt next year.

“I know it has been awhile since I fought and obviously, that’s not ideal for a young boxer,” Power told Irish-boxing.com. “But I believe that everything is beginning to fall into place now. I’m focused on getting the win on Saturday night and then going into 2020 ‘all guns blazing’. I’m only 18 years old and in a few days, I’ll be stepping inside the ropes for my fifth professional fight. That’s not too bad if you ask me.”

Not too bad all. There is certainly a base to build off and his brief period of inactivity is more than understandable considering 2019 was Leaving Cert Year.

However, Power was keen to point out that whilst he was out of the ring he wasn’t out the gym. Study didn’t always get in the way of training, there was no post exam blow out and he didn’t allow the fact he had no Irish licence or promoter get him down.

“It’s interesting that you asked “if it’s good to be back?” when I never really left. I’ve been in the gym working everyday since my last fight. I haven’t been as active as I would have liked during the past few months but I haven’t sat about idol.

“The fact that I couldn’t attain an Irish licence even after I turned 18 was a little disheartening, but sitting at home feeling sorry about myself wasn’t going to help the situation. I just kept my head down, worked hard and believed that an opportunity would come my way and sure enough, it has.” 

The Rebel county teen has been in living in LA for over a month now and has been working under the guidance of former South African heavyweight Courage Tshabalala.

He claims the pair clicked instantly and predicts the intense training will bring the best out of him come tomorrow night.

“Courage and I clicked instantly too. His way of teaching and style of training suits me perfectly and I believe he brings out the best in me,” Power adds.

” The training is very intense and demanding but I’m a hard worker, so that suits me. Courage is training myself, Ronald Ellis and Scott Alexander and I’ve really enjoyed being in that team environment. The two lads have taken me under their wing and we’re all gelling nicely! 

“We’ve worked on a few specific areas but our main focus was on correcting anything that wasn’t perfect and perfecting everything else. There’s always something to work on in this sport,” he adds before suggesting the coaching link up is long term.

“I’m young, so I’ve got a lot to learn and the moment you become complacent and stop learning in this sport, is the moment your career goes downhill. I’ll never be satisfied and I never want to be. We’re not just looking at this fight on Saturday, we’re looking at every fight that I’ll have during my career. “

Power’s first two pro fights, as a 17-year-old played out in Mexico and he is delighted to return this weekend.

Victory shouldn’t be too hard to come by for a fighter with a 100 percent knockout and it’s more of a get back active fight than anything big, but Power still feels like he is representing Ireland and thus wants to do everything right.

“I’m really excited about flying that Irish flag down in Mexico again. It’s a trip back to the place where it all began and has a nice ‘déjà vu’ feeling to it. I also get the chance to represent my country on foreign soil again and that’s very special to me.

“I’m representing my team, my family, my friends, everyone at home that believes in me and my entire country on Saturday night. The most important thing to me is making those people proud and representing them proudly and respectfully. I’m really determined and focused on getting this win in a few days.” 

There has been talk that Power will soon become the fifth Sheer Sports Irish fighter, but he smartly deflects when questions re contracts are raised.

“Everything is going smoothly over here. Ken [Sheer] and his team are taking care of me and are treating me like part of the team. You asked if I hope to sign with them….. we’ll see. Everything is going great so far. They’re a brilliant group of people and they treat their fighters brilliantly, so I can’t see why not. “

dpg


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 sport for a living for 19 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