Formerly known as a hot-head who perhaps lacked commitment, the Dubliner never reached the pinnacle, losing in numerous Elite Senior finals.
This year though things are different and Metcalfe is now Irish Senior champion.
The former Crumlin stalwart has linked up with the newly-formed Hyland Boxing Academy and, under Irish champion brothers Pajo and Paulie, is a changed fighter.
Effective aggression brought Metcalfe the title on Saturday night, with him edging out young Cork stylist Thomas McCarthy on a 3-2 split.
The 25-year-old was quick to attribute the win to the Hylands, and told Irish-Boxing.com afterward that “I don’t know how much I can say thanks to them. They’ve done everything for me, all the way up to here.”
“I went up to the lads only this year and the improvements they’ve put into me… sure look, I’m after winning a Senior title. I’ve been in three Senior finals, and this is the one I’ve done it with, with these lads.”
“I’ve had disappointments too many times before, but I knew this year, I knew with the change of club, I knew I was in a better place.
Former featherweight world title challenger Pajo Hyland explained how “the difference is, we’ve made him happy – and a happy fighter is a dangerous fighter.”
In terms of the fight itself, Metcalfe and his team admitted that it wasn’t easy on the eye – or ‘shite’ as Pajo succinctly put it – but they were always confident that their man would have his hand raised.
“I knew I had it,” he said.
“He [McCarthy] was awkward, running away from me.”
“He was the one in his interviews saying he was a more aggressive fighter, but he wasn’t one bit aggressive, it was all running and back foot.”
Metcalfe now plans to properly kick on in the sport, with a trip to America with a new-look Irish team first on the agenda.
“This year is the year I start to come out of myself,” he stated.
“Look at how much better I am than any of the other years. I’m stronger, I’ve more belief in myself, and I can go places”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)