Mathew Fitzsimons – “I don’t want to be bubble wrapped”

Mathew Fitzsimons [2(2)-0] has been out of the ring for over a year and a half but has not been out of the sport.

Therefore, despite having not fought since September 2015, the 20 year old is promising “a new and improved Mathew Fitzsimons.”

The super featherweight has joined Kieran Farrell’s Belfast revolution and is finally back in the ring at The Devenish Complex on Saturday night.

Fitzsimons has seen numerous fight dates fall through in recent times, but the steely youngster would be ever present in the gym and has recently linked up with former Irish champion Dee Walsh at the Immanuel Boxing Academy.

“I haven’t been away,” Fitzsimons told “I’ve always been training every week, I just never got the chance.”

“I got messed about a few times over the last 18 months and fights fell through, but now that I’ve got my chance with Kieran I’m going to take full advantage of it!”

Focus was not a major issue for ‘The Freak,’ who explained that “it wasn’t tough to stay motivated as I had a couple of fights coming up but then they didn’t happen.”

“With fights being pulled etc it was hard to not give up, but there will be a lot of hard times to come in the future also, and you just have to get through them!”

Refreshingly, Fitzsimons returns to action in the toughest fight of his short career thus far. The Belfast boy has been matched with awkward Ghanaian Michael Barnor [14(10)-9(6)-2] over four rounds for the small hall fight night.

Jumping straight back in with the slippery southpaw, who recently went the distance with Tyrone McCullagh, doesn’t bother Fitzsimons who notes how “it’s a tough fight but I’ve had tough sparring and a really tough camp.”

“I’ve watched a few fights of him and done my studying. He’s a decent fighter a bit awkward but I believe that he’s a good fight for me and I’ve the tools to completely dominate the fight.”

“I want hard fights – after this I’ll be looking for even harder fights! I don’t want to be bubble wrapped!”

Fitzsimons is promising improvements galore and an impressive performance. He described how “I’ve improved a lot in my opinion, I don’t want to say too much on that, but on Saturday night expect to see a different Mathew Fitzsimons.”

“Everyone said at my last fight that it was a massive improvement [from his debut], so expect to see a complete different and better fighter!”

“People can expect to see a completely new and improved Mathew Fitzsimons!”

The West Belfast bill is topped by an eight-round clash between Feargal McCrory and Jay Carney, with undercard support from Mike Perez, Sean McGlinchey, Sean Higginson, Sean Magee, Mark Morris, Gerard Healy, and Ronnie Clark.

Tickets are available from the boxers involved at the following prices:
£20 (standing)
£35 (unreserved seating)
£50 (ringside)

LISTEN: Mick Conlan joins Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill on Episode 4 of The Irish Boxing Show

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: