Jake McMahon is ready to show what he can do after finally being handed the chance to perform on the International stage.
Katie Taylor’s nephew and sometimes sparring partner earned the right to try to impress High Performance selectors by winning the Irish Under-22 Championships at featherweight earlier this year – and it appears he has done just that.
The Bray puncher has been selected on the Irish team to represent Ireland at the European Under-22 Championships in Poreč and will wear the Irish singlet for the first time in Croatia city next week.
Liberty clubman McMahon sees selection as a reward for years of hard work and as an opportunity to prove he is an Elite senior fighter with Paris 2024 capabilities.
“I felt privileged and honoured to be picked to represent my country as I finally got to see my hard work pay off and I could see that the trainers saw my hard work as well,” the young talent tells Irish-boxing.com.
“It was always a goal to go represent my country in such a big tournament. I can’t wait until I go out and compete it’s been a long time coming so I’m going to go out there give everything I’ve got.”
The youngster has his sights set on a top podium finish and reveals gold is the goal.
Indeed, he is confident if he performs to the best of his ability goal is more than achievable.
“The target is gold. If you don’t go over to these competitions aiming for gold I feel you shouldn’t be going at all. I believe if I box my fight and are performing well no one in Europe or the world could beat me.”
The self-assured and well-spoken emerging talent already sees himself as a Paris 2024 hopeful – but believes European success would convince others that he is one to watch out for over the remainder of the current Olympic cycle.
“This tournament can 100% establish myself as a top senior fighter and a Paris hopeful but I do believe even without this tournament I was one of these, this just solidifies my status,” he adds before revealing how much he has enjoyed the learning done with the High Performance.
“I have found the prep great for my development as a boxer. It’s very different to the stuff I do in my own boxing club so you’re always trying to add stuff to your game to make you a more complete boxer.
“I’m very excited to be heading out with such a great team. I feel honoured and privileged.”