Stephen McAfee aiming for another all-Irish fight

Stephen McAfee [4(2)-0-1] was back at the Good Counsel GAA Club in Drimnagh on Saturday night.

The scene of his epic BUI Celtic super featherweight title win over Colin O’Donovan in March – the Celtic Clash 5 headliner – McAfee took a bit of a back seat for the sixth instalment of the series.

Fighting over six rounds, McAfee dropped and outpointed (59-54) notably game Polish journeyman Damian Lawniczak in a competitive and entertaining contest.

His fifth fight as a professional, McAfee feels suitably ready for another big domestic fight.

“I was happy with the rounds, I wanted a good few rounds to be honest,” he told afterwards.

“I was a bit slow starting, my legs were a bit… It was tough enough in there, it was warm, you saw the weather the past few weeks.”

“I knew he [Lawniczak] was a tricky enough opponent before I went in. He’s been around, he knows his tricks of the trade.”

“I wouldn’t call him a journeyman, he’s good, he’s not like the first two [opponents]

“He knew when to grab and when not to, when to hussle, all that, you could tell he’s been around.”

The fight marked 20 completed rounds in McAfee’s last three fights, with his first two contests being early finishes.

The Sallynoggin super feather did have Lawniczak down to the body in the opening round but, following the knockdown, there was definitely a more deliberate approach to McAfee’s work.

The Southsider was looking to set-up shots and mixing in a lot of feints, showing a range of improvements as he continues to be refined by coach and manager Jonathan Lewins.

“That was the idea,” he noted “selection of shots, being more accurate, instead of wasting them.”

“Mixing up and down, that’s what we’ve been working on in the camp.”

McAfee now wants another domestic dust-up.

The Dubliner wants the Irish title but may find it hard to secure an eligible opponent for the belt.

A defence of his BUI Celtic title could also work and he has mentioned Kildare’s Allan Phelan recently – while Ballybrack puncher Niall O’Connor has also been suggested.

McAfee isn’t overly pushed on who he fights, noting “whatever, I’m thinking of a big one again after getting the taste. I’ve had two tough fights [v O’Donovan].”

“We’ll see what’s in the line, one or two names have popped by but I don’t know, I’ll leave that to the coaches.”

“I just do the fighting, they do the picking. I trust them with everything, I’ll fight anyone that’s in front of me.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: