Wise words from experienced manager Kellie Maloney quickly killed the drama surrounding Cathy McAleer’s first defeat.
Not long after turning down a fight with now world champion Shannon Courtenay, the Belfast fighter was outpointed by Gabriella Mezei in a highly entertaining scrap in the Sheffield Arena in December of last year.
As with most first-time defeats, over-reaction is the first reaction – and it appears that was the case for the initially very upset former kickboxer of note.
However, what was new to McAleer [4(1)-1(0)] wasn’t to Maloney who has managed the likes of Lennox Lewis and David Price.
The experienced fight maker and minder has guided fighters through troubled times and back from defeat – and was quick about taking the sting out of McAleer’s first slip up.
“Kellie was amazing after the fight, we chatted together as a team. We actually all ended up in hospital for a good few hours as I needed three stitches as my lip had split during the fight,” McAleer told Irish-Boxing.com.
“Kellie brought everything into perspective. She explained there was a lot going on around the fight the manner of the event, COVID, new gym, new coach, travel etc. Then and there we agreed we’d learn from the experience and move forward with our plan.:
“The Team and I realised [defeat came] under tough circumstances, too short a camp and restrictions with covid made it hard to prepare. Plus outdoors in a car park was certainly a new, cold experience,” she adds before expanding on some of the finer issues.
“I was training with a new coach in John Edwards and based where I could get female sparring at my weight. I was staying in a local Primer hotel, thanks to my sposnor its4women who funded my travels and training. However, with covid restrictions there was no kitchen open, I had nowhere to cook, all restaurants, coffee shops closed and I was literally stuck in a room bar the boxing session. I had just over three weeks in the Guilford boxing club and felt it wasn’t enough to prepare me for a fight against Gaberllia who was very experienced.”
Mezei’s ability belies her record, she has upset potential and was able to surprise the former Co Down footballer.
However, McAleer is confident with proper prep she would have extended her winning record against the Hungarian.
“It was a great opportunity to compete against an experienced lady with 40 pro fights. I feel that under any other circumstances and training it would have been a different fight. It just wasn’t my night, I didn’t get going until round three and it was too late. As frustrating as my first defeat was, I certainly learnt a lot from it.”
McAleer now wants to look forward and is hoping to put the defeat further behind her this coming Saturday. The 43-year-old takes on Natasha ‘Doesn’t Like’ Boyes [0-2] on the stacked Celtic Clash 11 card and is delighted to be competing again.
“I just can’t wait to get back in the ring and get an opportunity to do what I love,” she continues.
“Since my last fight I’ve been waiting for another opportunity to get back in the ring. I relocated back home to train on the third lockdown and be close to both parents who have been unwell and are high risk.”