Fitzsimons – “Carl Frampton proved it is possible, I believe I have the talent to be a World champion”

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Belfast’s Mathew Fitzsimons [2(2)-0] returns to the ring next month following a frustrating year on the sidelines.

Still only 20 years old, the super featherweight fights on the Prospect Boxing card at the Europa Hotel in his home city on Saturday October 22nd promises that he is “ten times better than I was a year ago.”

Fitzsimons spoke to Irish-Boxing.com about his career and explained the reason behind his long hiatus, describing how “I have had a hard year, one month after my last fight my grandfather, who was like another father to me, passed away and it took me a while to deal with it.”

“I was also licensed with the Malta Boxing Commission so it took me a while to find a manager who I knew would look after me.”

The youngster however doesn’t believe he will suffer any ill-effects from the break and is looking forward to progressing with his career. He revealed that “this last year has been very frustrating with having no fights but I was always training and sparring, so I don’t expect to be rusty at all in my next fight.”

“I recently signed with Paul Graham two months ago and he already has three fights lined up for me in the upcoming months.”

“I know I’m always improving even from my debut to my second fight everyone kept saying you just keep improving massively every fight.”

“Now I am ten times better than I was a year ago and I can’t wait to show everyone on October 22nd”

Fittzsimons may not be majorly known in boxing circles, and admits that “I wasn’t the greatest amateur as I was off and on a bit in my teen years concentrating on my school work.”

“My amateur was okay, I had 30 fights with four losses.”

Nevertheless he feels that he is perfectly suited to the pro game, and argues that “to be honest, to me, amateur boxing and professional boxing are like two different sports, the style of boxing is completely different.”

“I truly believe you could be a brilliant amateur and a terrible professional and it’s been proved many times.”

“Professional boxing suits me a lot more, I love the smaller gloves and the longer fights.”

“From my amateur career to my first pro fight there was a massive improvement, everyone who saw me box as an amateur thought I was a completely different fighter!.”

Building a reputation as a puncher, ‘Thunder’ however claims he isn’t one to look for a stoppage, and notes how “I’m a boxer. I like to box and let my fast hands go, if the knockout comes then it comes.”

“For my last fight I was doing strength and conditioning with Ryan Deighan who is brilliant, he had me in amazing shape and I am currently doing it with him now for my next fight.”

“He played a big part in my last fight, every time I hit the lad I could see his eyes roll back and I give a lot of the credit to Ryan.”

Detailing his style, the tall Fitzsimons – who believes he may eventually move down to featherweight – stated that “I feel that I’m too fast and strong for most people at my weight”

“I feel that my speed is like no one else’s at my weight, I have very quick hands and with the smaller gloves my opponents will feel the full speed and power.”

“With me also being 6’2 I have a big advantage over everyone at my weight.”

A typically confident Belfast lad, Fitzsimons outlined how “my long-term goals are to be a World champion and I will work as hard as I possible can to achieve that goal.”

“Carl Frampton proved it is possible, I believe I have the talent to be a World champion.”

“When you think about it, I am very young, I just recently turned 20, and the way I look at it is that I am good now, I have a solid jab, quick hands, brilliant movement, and I can punch – so imagine me in five years time with five more years of training and experience.”

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