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Positive after the test – Sean McComb learnt more in eight tough rounds than eight fights

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Sean McComb [9(4)-0] claims he gained more from his eight rounds with the tough Emiliano Rodriguez [23(9)-6(0)] than he did from all his previous fights.

‘The Public Nuisance’ has nigh-on been sprinting rather than stepping up the ladder over the eight months. Each of his previous four fights have been sizable jumps up the quality scale, particularly for a fighter with such little pro experience.

However, they are tests he has passed with such ease it didn’t look like he was asked any tough questions. That wasn’t the case at the Ulster Hall on Friday and the Argentine made him work from first to last bell.

The tough and aggressive away fighter asked questions of the southpaw’s heart, his temperament and his ability to crisis management over eight absorbing rounds – and the were questions McComb had the answer for.

The Belfast fighter had to deal with being put to the canvas and suffering cuts for the first time in his career. It was a tough nights work, but rather than lament it post the reverse, the 27-year-old prospect all but rejoiced post the 79-73 win.

Not only was McComb happy to show another side to his game, but is adamant the experience of fighting Rodriguez will only stand to him moving forward.

“This is the reason for the step ups. I am still learning. That was my ninth fight in 14 months and I’ve learnt more from that than I did in the previous eight fights,” said McComb.when speaking to the BBC.

“He is a hard, hard operator, a very experienced operator. You could see in there just the small things he was doing and I learnt from them. Small things like getting his arm underneath and throwing wee shot ones inside to the body, pull my head and my arms, just small wee tricks of the pro game. I learnt a lot tonight and it’s brilliant for me moving forward.”

Mid way through the fight McComb found himself taking a knee. A slashing rather than thudding shot to the body caught the attention of his lungs and as a result he elected to take a knee.

The Danny Vaughan-cornered fighter was happy with how he dealt with the moment of adversity and happy to have the experience of taking such a shot in the bag.

“When I stepped back I was out of range and I relaxed. Then he switched stance and threw a big winding hook. It just grazed me across the bottom of the ribs when I relaxed,”he explains.

“I took a knee and done the smart thing instead of letting him gather momentum from it. I broke that momentum, took a knee for eight seconds, continued on and again upped the level a wee bit more. It’s another box ticked off in terms of experience for me.”

The cuts will rule the active fighter out for just under a month, but he remains hopeful of squeezing one more in before 2019 is done.

“I’m automatically out for 28 days with a cut, but if MTK [McComb’s management group] can work anything before Christmas count me in.”


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