When ring announcer Terry Kavanagh read out the 58-58 scoreline after a contest so entertaining Boxing Ireland have made the rematch the top of their Celtic Clash 5 bill next month, McAfee claims he felt as bad as he would if he had have been handed a couple of weeks to live – but notes his opponent Colin O’Donovan [1(1)-1(1)-1] celebrated like he “won the EuroMillions.”
For the super featherweight prospect that is proof his Cork opponent knew he wasn’t deserving of the result and suggests they have a whole different attitude in terms of ambition, desire, and even professional pride.
“On the night I was disappointed, you look at my reactions compared to his. You’d swear I got news that I only had a week left to live,” McAfee told Irish-Boxing.com.
“Compare to him, he was absolutely delighted. He couldn’t stop smiling. It just shows you the mindset is different. He was happy with a draw.”
“When they called it a draw you’d swear they won the EuroMillions the way they went on, I’ve never seen a fighter so happy with a draw. So, he is fooling nobody saying he won that fight.”
The 26-year-old was visibly upset after having to effectively share the spoils, but he has had an ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ moment since.
Due to the entertaining nature of the first fight, the Sallynoggin slugger will not only top a bill in just his fourth pro outing but has also been afforded the chance to pick up the BUI Celtic 130lbs title.
“Days later I realised it actually worked out perfect for me, I get to headline a show in my fourth pro fight for the BUI belt can’t get any better than that.”
O’Donovan seems equally as excited about the rematch. The Cork man has promised to take McAfee’s soul and the title, predicting a full camp will only see him perform better.
However, the other half of the headline fight on Saturday March 24th at Good Counsel GAA club in Drimnagh is adamant he won their first meeting and is equally as confident he will win the repeat.
In fact, he claims he will leave no margin for what he believes was scoring error this time around.
“This time I’ll leave no doubt in anyone’s mind that I’m the better fighter.
“This time around I know what I’m up against after being in the ring with him, I didn’t know anything about him before the last fight. So I know what I have to work o “.
“I wasted unnecessary energy by loading up my on my shots and silly movements. That won’t happen this time around. Once I perform like I usually do I won’t need to worry about losing. There will be only one outcome.”
The pair produced the round of the year, an epic final stanza, when they first met in an under-the-radar all-Irish clash back in December, but McAfee believes the only reason O’Donovan was ready to trade in the last was due to the fact he was too tired to continue running.
“I think some parts [of the rematch] will be similar,” reasoned the Jonathan Lewins-trained fighter.
“For example, I think he will be running like Mo Farah like he did in the last fight for five rounds. He ran until he got tired. I expect the same again because I know he won’t stand toe-to-toe with me.”
“I don’t blame him in fairness,” added McAfee before revealing the pair haven’t talked since their fight.
“We never had a relationship and never will, I’m not in this game to make friends – it’s a business at the end of the day.”
“I’ll be going in there with bad intentions and to bring that belt home with me. He can get his few pound and we will both be happy.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)