Katelynn Phelan [2-0] claims her time is coming, but is well aware it doesn’t have to come just yet.
Phelan is somewhat of a unique female pro having turned over before exploring a senior amateur career.
The decision to ditch the headguard whilst still in her teens is in stark contrast to the majority of the pros on the scene at present and unlike the likes of Siobhan O’Leary, Cathy McAleer, Lynn Harvey and even Katie Taylor she has bought herself some learning time in the paid ranks.
So despite the fact the female landscape allows for title shots early into careers – proved most recently by the fact O’Leary challenges for the Celtic Nations title in just her third fight- Phelan is happy to use the majority of 2020 to learn and bank experience.
“In 2020 I would like to build my record as much I can and get myself into title contention by the end of the year,” said the prospect.
“Who doesn’t want some shiny belts!! Things can happen very quickly in female boxing. Siobhan is boxing for a title after just 3 fights, Lynn Harvey boxed for the European title in her 7th fight and Terri Harper is boxing for the World Title after just 9 fights so I know that opportunities will come if I keep winning and stay ready,” Phelan continues.
“The female game is slowly starting to grow which is great, I believe there will be more turning pro in 2020 which is amazing. I absolutely love learning new skills and I’ve got youth and time on my side, not many pros do and I’m lucky for that.”
The younger sister of fellow pro Allan Phelan returns on a busy night for Irish boxing on Febraury 1.
Phelan trades leather on the Celtic Clash 10 card. The 19-year-old who debuted live on TG4 last year is delighted to be out so soon and is hoping to be tested.
“It is great to get out early in 2020 as it means more fights throughout the year.
“I am really excited to be on an amazing show with top class fighters and can’t wait to box on front of the Belfast fans as they are so passionate and knowledable about boxing. I stayed in the gym all throughout Christmas as I really want to seize this opportunity and get 2020 off to a good start,” she adds before calling for a test.
“I don’t want an easy fight, I want someone that is willing to fight and that is there to try and win so that we can give the fans something to enjoy. We don’t grow without challenges.”
Phelan was one the new to scene pros that caught the eye in 2020. Her win over Galina Gyumliyska in Cork was particularly impressive for a teen.
The fighter herself is happy with how things went and is looking to improve her record and her performance levels starting on CCX.
“Looking back on my first two fight I feel they went exactly to plan. With my debut I was nervous and excited which I expect is the same for most boxers.
“I only had 3 weeks notice though and didn’t know what to expect but as soon as I got through the ropes I felt at home. With my second fight I had my first proper training camp and I think it showed in my performance. I have stayed in the gym and have been improving all my times and records so I can guarantee that fight number 3 in Belfast will be even better.”
As a World Youth and European Junior bronze medal winner, Phelan was an amateur to look out for before her pleas to turn over were finally meet with a positive response from her father.
Now she is a pro to keep an eye on and she did take time to reflect on the differences between the codes.
“I have definitely noticed changes between being an amateur and a professional. One is having to sell tickets to cover your purse and trying to get sponsors to allow me to train full time. Most people don’t know about this and just think that being a professional is all glitz and glamour but I assure you, that is not the case. It is a struggle but it will be worth it. Inside the ring the main difference is the lighter gloves and no head guard which I love,” she smiles before thanking her support network.
“I am blessed to have a great team around me. My Dad has always been in my corner and Niall Barrett and UNIT 3: Health and Fitness. came on board six months ago. I have added a nutritionist a masseuse and a meal prep company, Nutri Quik and Irish Biltong for this camp so 2020 will be a big year for me and my team. Life has a plan for us all and mine happens to be as a professional boxer and a World Champion. My time is coming.”