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“She always told me not to give it up” – Dylan McDonagh dedicates debut win to late mother

He dropped to his knees like he had won a world title when the result was called out.

Considering it was Dylan McDonagh’s debut there was never going to be any form of strap on the line, but one of many fighters introduced to the pro fight fans on the Celtic Clash 3 card had passed a milestone that meant a lot to him and his late mother.

The Jobstown bantamweight hailed his mam as his inspiration following his relentless performance and win over Bulgarian Georgi Andonov.

The 32 year old’s mother had always encouraged him to keep up boxing and, after a massive false dawn in April of this year with the fight-week cancellation of a show, McDonagh worried if a pro debut and a promise to his mother would ever materialise.

However, it did this weekend, and the self-critical McDonagh put in a display that caught fan attention and would have made all his family proud.

McDonagh explained to Irish-Boxing.com how “it was a lot of pressure even with the last show been cancelled.”

“I was doing it for my mam, she passed a couple of years ago and is an inspiration for everything. She always told me not to give it up. She was always my main driving force to do it and here I am making a debut and winning.”

McDonagh’s fitness, relentlessness and all-action style did make for a good watch and he showed enough for some to suggest he has the credentials to become a name on Dublin shows.

However, the Frank Stacey-coached fighter feels there is room to improve and wasn’t overly content with his premiere pro showing.

“I think I have a few things to work on, but it was all about the win tonight. The performances will come.”

“I was dying to get him out of there, but he has a head like a cinder box. I was trying to stop him, but it didn’t happen.”

“I felt okay fitness wise and with the pace. I thought I set a good pace, but there are always things to learn. I will take this experience and build on it, but I personally feel I could have performed better.”

The lower weights have all of a sudden become glamour divisions in Ireland. IBF bantamweight champion Ryan Burnett is Ireland’s only reigning beltholder, while diminutive duo Regan Buckley and Carl McDonald provided the Celtic Clash 3 show with the fight of the night.

There are a bevvy of boxers around the weight and considering they showed a willingness to fight each other, Buckley and McDonald could be on McDonagh’s radar, for sure. However, the Tallaght terrier claims he is on his own path for now.

“I’ll take a week off and we will talk about whats next then,” he said.

“I am most comfortable at bantamweight and that is a good division domestically. I am a neutral for tonight’s fight [Buckley v McDonald] but I’ll be interested to see how it turns out. Those fights could happen down the line but for now we are all on our own journey.”

Photo Credit: Laszlo Geczo Photograhy

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie