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Mathew Fitzsimons Ready for ‘Second Debut’ After Binning Retirement Thoughts

He flirted with other options but ultimately Mathew Fitzsimons [5(2)-1(1)] just couldn’t leave the sport he loves.

The rangy super featherweight admits retirement at the age of just 25 became a real possibility during the pandemic. Having just ended a year out of the ring in February of 2020, the Belfast fighter found himself denied the chance to get busy by Covid.

It proved extra frustrating for a fighter who has struggled to find consistent competition and already had a sporadic fight existence up to that point.

As a result, he was seriously eyeing the hook gloves are hung up on. Retirement became an option but one he just couldn’t bring himself to take.

“I was debating on calling it a day for months there,” he explained when speaking to Irish-boxing.com.

“I’ve been doing well running my own events and personal training people but I know I’d look back at it in the future and regret it. I love this sport, I’ve boxed the majority of my life and without it I don’t feel myself.”

Fitzsimon’s officially has pro boxing back in his life, as he now prepares for a November 13th fight.

‘Thunder’ joins the likes of Tony Nellins, Conor Cooke and Conrad Cummings in making a ring return on the MHDXI card that also includes Colm Murphy and Nick Campbell.

“It’s great to have a date and to finally get a chance to do what I love,” comments Fitzsimons.

The Belfast man also revealed he is looking into a link-up with Mark Dunlop, the manager and promoter who looks after the likes of former European champions James Tennyson and Tommy McCarthy as well Paul Hyland Jr, Irish champ Eric Donovan and Murphy.

“For this fight, I’ll be working under Mark Dunlop. We are working on a see how it goes basis, so hopefully, it goes well and we continue to work together,”he says before revealing his prime goal at the minute is just to get busy.

“The plan is to get active for the first time in my career!

“I’ve never been active so I want to get a few fights in a short period of time, then within the next 6-9 months try and step up.”

In fact, Fitzsimons seems to want to draw a line under what’s gone before and start afresh.

“I’m just hoping this is the start of my career. I’m basically counting this as my new debut. I debuted so young I was very immature in the process of it but I’m 25 now, a lot more experienced, stronger, smarter and wiser, so the last 6 fights of my career are behind me and this is a brand new debut for me.”

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com