Still all systems go – pandemic hasn’t changed Ireland’s oldest pro Cathy McAleer’s ambitions

Project Cathy McAleer [4(1)-0] is still a go and the 42-year-old plans an Autumn ring return.

If there was one fighter whose ring career looked vunerable to the pandemic and the halting of boxing it was McAleer’s.

At 42, time isn’t on the Down fighter’s side and having twice seeing big Commonwealth title fights fall through last summer, she may have been forgiven for considering calling it a day once boxing was cancelled.

However, the former kickboxing, karate and MMA competitor isn’t one for giving up and still holds her world title ambition.

The Kellie Maloney managed puncher expects to return later in this year and the journey toward titles begins again.

“The aim is to fight in September this year, if that does not happen it will be probably October or November time,” McAleer, who looks set to fight on John Pegg shows in Birmingham until there is a big enough fight to bring home, said.

“Fighting behind closed doors with no fans would be the worst situation,” she adds, “it would be so hard, it would be unusual to fight with no crowd where there is just you and the opponent.

“It would be a strange atmosphere, but as a 42-year-old fighter, and the short window I have, I would do that to get to where I want to get to,” she adds.

It has proved a difficult time for McAleer, just as it has for a host of fighters, but she has had support.

Her manager rings her weekly, her sponsors have remained onboard and she has continued to train.

“Sitting at home, not knowing what is going to happen, being self-employed with no income coming in, I was lucky that my sponsor, who has stayed with me, has supported me through this period,” she admits.

“I am lucky that I have a studio at the house and the team have been supporting me.”

“The support I am getting is giving me the positivity that I need, knowing that the team is all still behind me”.

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