Resilient Cathy McAleer roles with the punches

Cathy McAleer [4(1)-0] knows all to well what it’s like to deal with the most frustrating kind of sporting disappointments and as a result is taking the current crisis in her stride.

The Down puncher has always lived up to her end of the bargain, winning fights and titles in whatever code she has competed in.

However, over a long combat career the 41-year-old has had to deal with set backs, particularly the out of her control kind.

Just last year the former kickboxing and karate world champion saw a break through Commonwealth title fight fall through TWICE.

The novice boxer, but veteran competitor looked to be gaining momentum in 2020 having teamed up with Kellie Maloney, but issues out of her control hit once again.

The current pandemic has slowed the pair plans down and left the Belfast fighter in fight limbo again.

Still her reaction has been positive and she has found away to cope.

“It’s just another obstacle in my career,” says McAleer when speaking to the BBC.

“I’ve been let down so many times, I think I’ve built up a resilience to it.

“I’ve been through so much that I just thought ‘if you don’t ride with this, you’re going to end up with no income, no fitness and you’ll lose your mind’.

“I had to roll with it, and thankfully it’s coming together.”

As the severity of the impending lockdown became apparent, McAleer realised that it was not only her training that would have to adapt.

The personal trainer and karate school owner had to adapt to ensure she maintained an income.

“I came back home and was sitting in my house thinking ‘this is awful’, I didn’t know what to do with myself,” she says.

“I was a bit lost but I had to sit myself up and say ‘right, how am I going to get an income?’

“Thankfully I had a really good client base, so I spent four days building an app and a website, and now I’m constantly busy so my days go quickly.”

Speaking about a boxing return, McAleer revealed she would be happy to compete behind closed doors.

“If it means boxing has to go behind closed doors on a pay-per-view channel, then it’s going to be awful, but so be it,” McAleer says.

“Fighting in front of no fans would be tough, but at the end of the day I’m there as an athlete to do a job.

“Obviously, I would prefer that not to be the case, but if that is the way it has got to go then we have to get on with it.”

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