Moira McElligott wants to make the most of her “small window of opportunity”

It has been a good year for Moira McElligott, but the Kerry featherweight would love to make the step up to the next level.

The Asdee native, the reigning national champion, moved onto the international scene in 2016, and recently reached the quarter finals at the European Championships. However, McElligott knows that she has so much more to give if she was provided with the right support.

An unfunded athlete, McElligott is at an instant disadvantage to many of the top fighters at her weight. While she is happy that she can compete at the top level, the St Michael’s Athy fighter would love the opportunity to fight full time.

McElligott spoke to Irish-Boxing.com following her competitive win over Raven Chapman at the weekend and described how “I’m starting to get experience at that top level. I’m probably a full-time boxer, part-time trainer. All these girls are full-time training so it’s hard to compete at that level, so I’m happy to be competing at that level, and delighted to get the chance to compete at that level.”

“I would love to [fight and train full time]. Obviously I’m a vet by profession, I can’t really give that up at the moment. Financially I can not give up my job for boxing at the moment – but if I was funded I definitely would love to box on a full-time basis.”

“I absolutely love the sport and there’s a small window of opportunity to compete at that level, at my age, I’m 29. I could go back, I always have my profession to go back to, I would love to compete top level – but you have to train, full time, to do that.”

Money aside, it’s been an encouraging year for the Munster woman, and she is now focused on retaining her title in the new year.

McElligott noted how “I’m now getting a win or two under the belt as well on my card and it’s confidence-boosting. Every time I go into the ring I’ll be a little bit more confident that I’m able to compete at that level. That was a good girl there [Chapman].”

“I’m 57kg Elite champion. One step at a time. I’d love to get a second belt, hold my title, a second all-Ireland would be brilliant for me. There probably should be a few more girls at that weight next February.”

“I don’t know who’s going to enter, I don’t care who’s going to enter, it’s my belt.”

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