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Keeping his options open – Sean McComb reveals positive MGM talks

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During the Summer, Belfast’s Sean McComb eloquently described to Irish-Boxing.com the financial struggles of trying to succeed as an elite level boxer with second tier funding, lack of sponsors, and a need to build a life for himself.

The straight-talking 24 year old won many sympathisers with his honest appraisal of the unglamourous side of elite amateur boxing, and attracted the attention of some in the pro game

Since then the light welterweight has had talks with MGM with a view to turning pro but, while that avenue remains open, he intends to stay with the IABA for the time being.

McComb spoke recently to Irish-Boxing.com and revealed that “I was talking away to MGM. I just want to know where I’m going – so if one way doesn’t work out, or if there’s a bad decision, I can fall back on that.”

“But at the minute I’m still on funding and I’m still a High Performance boxer, I’m just going to focus on that until my funding’s up. Then when my funding’s up I’m going to start looking around and seeing where I can go from there.”

The Holy Trinity fighter has been busy training throughout the long Summer as he looks to build into his new weight of 64kgs and McComb is enjoying the move up. He described how “I just feel normal, my walking around weight would be about 66kg so I’m very comfortable. I’m sparring a lot better and I’m able t train a lot more often.”

“It’s a lot better. I’m doing a wee bit of weights, just a programme I’ve been given. I have to build up in weight a bit so when the Seniors come around in February I’ll be sitting comfortably.”

“I’m just training away, ticking over, there hasn’t been much happening off the back of the Olympics. We’re just starting to get back up to speed again.”

McComb is aware of the importance of the first post-Rio Seniors, with a team in flux and a whole host of fighters looking to set down a marker going forward, himself included. The southpaw acknowledged that “it’s a whole new team now almost, there’s been a complete clean-out. There’s going to be a lot of people who’ll be trying to get their foot in the door of the High Performance.”

“There’ll be a few new faces around and everybody will be looking to make a statement – including myself. I want to be one of the leaders of the team, I want to be the one who’s going to go in and do the job, and hopefully take control and stay training in the High Performance for the next year or two and again, and hopefully win a major medal or two.”

If McComb is to become the new Senior 64kg champion he would end a run of three straight titles for Wexford’s Dean Walsh, but he is keen not to frame the championships as a ‘McComb v Walsh’ affair. He outlined how “it’s not just Dean, there’s a couple there, there’s James Cleary, then there’s going to be a couple of young ones coming up to prove a point at Senior level.”

“It’s going to be very tough, I’ll just focus on one fight at a time obviously. Me and Dean will probably be seeded number one and number two so it will take him to win all his fights and me to win all my fights for us to meet in the final. That’s a way on down the line and it’s not even in my mind at the minute.”

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