2 June 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
Former Commonwealth Gold medallist Eammon OKane claims his WSB success rubber stamped his decision to turn pro.
Paul McCloskeys stable mate won three consecutive fights for Paris Thunder over five three minute rounds in the revolutionary tournament proving he is ready for the upgrade to the paid grade. The 29 year old Commenwealth gold medallist believes his time spent in a tournament that has more in common with pro than amateur boxing provided the perfect acid test to whether or not he was ready or not he should enter the paid ranks. And the Dungiven man plans to mirror his successful amateur career on the professional circuit.
The clean living puncher, who makes his debut against Chuck Jones in Cardiff on Saturday night, claims he has never felt fitter and believes he is on the verge of his fighting peak. OKane has mixed it with the likes of Jean Pascal, John Duddy, Andy Lee and is the last man to beat British champion George Groves and pointed to the quality he faced in his amateur innings as proof he can mix it at the top level.
The World Series of Boxing was a good introduction to the professional game. I had no head guard and did five three minute rounds against top quality opposition. Doing well in that tournament rubber stamped my decision to go pro. I had three fights against some of the best lads in the world and won them all. I am in the best shape of my career and I am producing my best boxing so its a perfect time to make a pro debut.
The Ulster battler enters the professional scene latter in pro life but dismissed suggestions his advancing years will prevent him from advancing to title level. Indeed OKane believes ditching the head gear and vest at this stage could prove beneficial has he plans to make it to the top.
I never felt fitter. Age isnt a problem in fact I think the experience and confidence i have gained will help me move up the ladder quicker. Fighting Jones in Wales wont prove a problem for me. I have competed and beat the best there is out there. Why would I be worried? I know I can cope with the worlds best. I plan to reach the top and follow in Paul McCloskeys footsteps.