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Mathew Fitzsimons – “I’m only 20, imagine me at 25!”

Mathew Fitzsimons [3(2)-0] may only be twenty years old, but the rangey Belfast boy already has a wise old head.

Promotional issues have kept the youngster out of action for a year and a half and, despite a victorious return to the ring at the weekend, ‘The Freak’ is in no rush.

The 6’2″ super featherweight made his comeback on the Kieran Farrell Promotions ‘A New Era’ bill at The Devenish Complex on Saturday and he comfortably outpointed awkward Ghanaian Michael Barnor [14(10)-10(6)] over four rounds.

It was a case of banking the rounds for Fitzsimons who, bar a few stinging bodyshots, didn’t unleash his much-talked about right hand.

The Ulsterman was just happy to be back and get the win, and told Irish-Boxing.com afterwards that “it’s brilliant to be back after an eighteen month lay-off.”

“It was good to get in and have a good performance, control the fight.”

Part of the new Immanuel Boxing Academy under Dee Walsh and Ray Ginley, Fitzsimons credits his new coaches for providing him the opportunity – as well as an overhaul of his style.

He explained how “Dee messaged me on Twitter saying about Kieran Farrell coming to Belfast, so I asked Dee to train me and it all just took off from there. Ray had a gym, he was training Lewis [Crocker] and Gerard [Healy], and Mark Morris, so it all just came together perfectly.”

“You saw my performance in there, compared to my last fight, I’m a completely different fighter and that’s because of Dee and Ray, teaching me ever single day.”

Considering the long gap, Fitzsimons would be forgiven for wanting to jump into big fights, perhaps viewing it as making up for lost time. The reality is quite the opposite, and he notes his young age and a desire to develop first

Fitzsimons outlined that “the plan for this year is just to get more fights, get back into fights, try and get two years, and then start challenging for titles.”

“I’d be a handful for any super featherweight. I don’t think there are many super featherweights who could beat me.”

“I’m only 20, imagine me at 25, nobody’s going to beat me then. I’m still young, I need to learn my craft.”

“This is only the start of it.”

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

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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