“I’ve removed him on Facebook” – Michael Devine puts friendship aside for title fight with gym mate

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Michael Devine [14(4)-5(1)] is not letting anything get in his way ahead of his BBBoC Southern Area title fight this Saturday, not even friendship.

The Wexford-Luton lightweight takes on former gym-mate Ben Day [8(3)-1(0)-1] for the vacant belt at the York Hall, and while he is respectful of his familiar opponent, he’s wary of being too friendly going into the fight.

So much so, Devine has ended the pair’s friendship, albeit in the online world.

‘Chunky’ spoke to Irish-Boxing.com and described how “I was in camp with him for a bit, but it’s funny that we never actually sparred, we just crossed paths every day in the gym and got friendly and began to train with each other. I’d stay and watch him spar, he’d stay and watch me spar.”

“He’s a good lad, but at the end of the day he’s stopping me from what I want to do. So I’ve removed him on Facebook and everything. I’m just concentrating on what I’ve got to do. My job is to beat him on Saturday.”

Devine himself is a former BBBoC Southern Area super featherweight champion, while Day held the light welterweight equivalent. On Saturday they meet in the middle, but the 27 year old explains how this is somewhat misleading.

“He’s actually very light,” said Devine. “I heard he was 58kilos, near featherweight, at the start of camp. He’s turned into a vegan now so he’s stripped loads of weight.”

“I only went down to super feather for one fight to win the title and I’ll never make it again, I killed myself, I don’t know how I even won the fight, my heart just got me through it.”

“I’m a more natural lightweight, I walk around at a heavier weight, and I’ll be the bigger man on the night – and the puncher.”

The fight on the Campion Promotions card is somewhat different for Devine. Different in that he enters the bout fully prepared, as injuries, short notice, unfamiliar weights, and bereavement have previously contributed to him suffering defeats.

Devine outlined how “”everything happens for a reason, and I use all that as part of a learning curve, not as a negative. The camp for this has gone unbelievable, so there’s no excuses. I’ve had a proper camp, no fights at short notice, I’ve been living in the gym, so I’m 100%.”

“This is the best Michael Devine there’s ever been, I’ll be too much for him.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

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