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Strap Season – James McGivern targets Cooney – Gaynor winner

He fights for a lightweight title on the Rumble in the Hills card in Donegal this Saturday night – but James McGivern says he is the best super featherweight in Ireland and wants to prove as much.

The Jason Quigley mentored former amateur standout faces an Intriguing fight with Josh Stanford on the Elite Sheer card in Letterkenny tomorrow and will claim the BUI Celtic title at lightweight if he secures victory.

One week later down the scales at 130lbs Liam Gaynor and John Cooney battle it out for the BBBofC Celtic strap on the massive Cameron-Taylor 2 card in Dublin.

McGivern feels, as the number 1 ranked fighter at the weight, he should have been handed an opportunity on the huge Matchroom bill and has declared his interest in sharing the ring with the winner of the Dublin versus Galway bout.

‘The Natural’ thinks it’s the natural fight to make and suggests it could provide him with passage to the Irish title.

“Whoever wins that fight, whatever way it may be there could be a belt somewhere we could fight for,” he said.

“I saw that [they were on the card] and I was wondering, ‘there’s two super featherweights in Ireland that I didn’t even know were knocking about and I’m the number 1 super featherweight in Ireland, so why am I not getting that shout’?

“Whoever wins that fight I’d fight. I come through my fight, they come theirs and there’s an easy matchup.”

The 25-year-old Ormeua Road graduate gets his title opportunity this weekend on the back of suffering some disappointments over the last two years. In fact, there is an element of third-time lucky when it comes to this title fight, considering he has twice seen title fights with Tony McGlynn fall through last minute.

“The one key thing I’ve learnt about professional boxing is you just have to run with it,” he comments.

“You just have to work away and hope the chips fall in your favour. Just don’t give up. If anyone out there is looking to be a professional boxer thats the one bit of advice I’d give them. Jason is doing a great job, we are a great team and partnership, we kept going and now I have my opportunity.”

The title challenger, who is hoping to strike up a long-term training partnership with Ricky Burns, knows to continue to secure the bigger opportunities he may have to venture into the away corner.

That’s something he is happy to do, eager to take advantage of what he believes has been a winner stays on shift in the fight game.

“Eddie Hearn has come out said publicly there are no more handy fights. We’ve had that discussion and our idea going forward to get signed with a Matchroom, or whoever it may be, is to beat someone they have. Whoever their super featherweight guy is I have to go and take his spot that’s the way boxing is now. You’ve to fight to earn your spot and fight to keep your spot now. There is no more being this poster boy and you get handed easy fights and plenty of money”


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years