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Confident Stephen McAfee hoping to build on impressive debut KO

Stephen McAfee [1(1)-0] stole the show when he made his professional debut back in May at the National Stadium, and is looking to do the same again next month.

The Sallynoggin lightweight bounced Poland’s Marcin Ficner up and down off the canvas before scoring a stunning one punch knockout in the third round.

Now 25 year old McAfee is back and he will fight for a second time on Saturday September 9th, again at the National Stadium, on the ‘Celtic Clash 3: Building Champions’ card run by Boxing Ireland Promotions.

Former top amateur and RTÉ pundit Eric Donovan headlines the show in a BUI Celtic featherweight title fight with Welsh champion Dai Davies, but there will be more than a few interested observers looking out for McAfee on the undercard following his statement-making debut.

McAfee can feel the momentum building behind him already and noted how “without a doubt there is more hype and buzz for this fight. Everyone that went to my debut can’t wait for it and even people that couldn’t make it to the last fight are really looking forward to it. I’ll have to put on another show for those that missed the first one!”

Looking back on his KO of the Year contender, McAfee claims that “to be honest, I wasn’t surprised with the knockout, I’ve done it plenty of times before, it’s not like it was my first one. I was more surprised with the amount of attention I received after, it was all over social media with views reaching up to 12,000.”

What’s perhaps most notable about McAfee’s impressive debut was that it came under inopportune circumstances, with the Jonathan Lewins-trained fighter having had just three weeks to prepare for the short notice debut. Therefore the former kickboxer is predicting an even more eye-catching display on ‘Celtic Clash 3.’

“Every time I step into the ring I want to improve from my last fight – and I will, don’t worry. So expect a better performance on the 9th of September.”

Boxing is a sport that requires confidence, and it’s obvious that McAfee has this quality in spades. “You’ve got to be confident in this game,” he notes, “and I don’t lack confidence, as you saw by my debut performance. A performance like that can only help me and make me more confident. The more confident I am the better I perform.”

The charismatic Dubliner knows the need to entertain, and he has a prediction for all those that will be in attendance next month – “a knockout, and it won’t be me!”

Headlined by the Donovan-Davies title fight, the Celtic Clash 3 card also features Colin O’Donovan, Martin Quinn, Regan Buckley, Carl McDonald, Chris Mullally, Michael Gallagher, Niall O’Connor, James Cahill, Gerard Whitehouse, Bernard Roe, John Joyce, Vladimir Belujsky, Liam Gaynor, and Dylan McDonagh.

Tickets cost €30 (Balcony), €40 (Gallery), €60 (Ringside), €100 (VIP Premium), and €15 (Under-15s gallery – must be bought alongside an adult ticket) and are available to buy by calling 086 2454 350 or online at Ticketmaster.ie.

Photo Credit: Laszlo Geczo Photography

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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