Pro not Tokyo – James McGivern never considered profesional u-turn

James McGivern never considered digging out the vest and returning to the amateur game during lockdown.

An early 2019 National Elite Champion and genuine Olympic hope saw a proposed April debut cancelled not long before Tokyo 2020 became Toyko 2021.

It gave the 21-year-old the chance to re consider his career choice and an opportunity to survey his Olympic options.

An opportunity he didn’t even consider taking, McGivern’s heart is now set on turning over.

The Belfast prospect is delighted to have a new pro date to look forward to.

“No,” he answers when asked if at any stage he considered a return to the amateurs.

“Of course it was a massive dream of mine, but this is a new chapter a fresh start. Honestly going to training is like going back to the club for the first time all those years ago. I’m back to loving boxing and taking any bit of knowledge I can I’m a student again.”

The St George’s ABC graduate has been handed a new August 25 debut date and is delighted to have something to focus on after a spell of lockdown limbo.

Indeed, he is itching to get back into the ring.

“It’s been frustrating. I haven’t fought in ages, I keep watching back videos of me fighting and hearing the bell go honestly gets me excited. I haven’t been this excited to fight in a long long time.”

The behind closed doors at the LS-LIVE in Wakefield could have been the Commonwealth Games medal winner’s second pro date had he managed to punch for pay in April.

He seems quite content it isn’t, pointing out he has benefited from some pro specific training.

“I was nearly ready to go with the April date, but that being cancelled is somewhat a blessing in disguise. It gave me more time to practice on my new craft and come August everyone will be able to see just how well I’ve made the transition.”

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 sport for a living for 19 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