Michael McLaughlin Owen [11(5)-1(0)-1] has been working on how to avoid meeting Shakha Moore head-on in the ring on Saturday night.
It might seems a strange statement for a fighter going all out to win a first career title, but after being left needing eight stitches over his right eye and glue to close a cut over his left the Donegal welterweight is keen to avoid the rock solid mallet of his opponent.
The pair are set to rematch for the New England title at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut – and after their March meeting which was ruled a no-contest after an ‘accidental’ clash of heads – the 31 year old is eager to avoid cuts so he can claim a victory he is adamant he was en-route to getting last time out.
“I’ve been working on different things in sparing and pad-work to avoid his head,” McLaughlin told Irish-boxing.com.
“The last fight was very frustrating, he was putting his head down most of the time as I’d throw my punches and he was connecting his head on my face. The fight ended up being stopped due to cuts.”
“If I would have made it past the fourth round in the last fight I would have won. I was ahead on the score cards so I’m really looking forward to lifting the belt this time around.”
Having just faced Moore in March McLaughlin knows what his opponent is all about and despite being prone to use his nut the Donegal man says the American isn’t a bad operator.
However, he points out that Moore did not see the best of McLaughlin in their first bout and is confident that he will be crowned champion this weekend.
“In fairness he’s not a bad fighter, but I wasn’t very prepared for the last one. I only got twelve rounds of sparing due to a shoulder injury. I am in better shape this time.”
McLaughlin challenges for the New England strap this weekend, but the Irish title is the one he dreams of. He came close to fighting for the light middleweight version of the strap, but Lee Murtagh was forced to retire before their scheduled bout.
The 31 year old Donegal fighter remains green strap keen, and when asked about a possible bout with Sean Creagh, whose name has cropped up in connection with the title of late, he welcomed the challenge.
“I always want a shot at the title and whoever is up to fight me for it I’ll do it, no problem.”