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Ultimate Hell Week winner backs Katelynn Phelan to excel on toughest boxing terrain

Katie Phelan [3-0] will not only survive behind enemy lines, but will excel in arguably the toughest boxing terrain there is this coming weekend.

That’s it the view of ‘Ultimate Hell Week’ winner and coach Niall Barrett.

The young Kildare Town welterweight has secured a major fight with German-Ukrainian sensation Jessica Schadko and will fly out to the Munich suburb of Donauwoerth this week for her first title contest.

A fight initially meant to take place early last month, the bout was postponed after her opponent fell ill. Refixed to October 17, 20-year-old Phelan will put it all on the line for three belts – the WBC Youth title, the WBF title, and the WIBA title.

While Ireland’s youngest professional female boxer has three wins from her three pro fights thus far, Schadko is unbeaten in eight and there is significant investment being placed in the 19-year-old phenom.

The lilywhite is stepping up from four rounds all the way to ten for this bout and, if a jump in rounds and quality opposition isn’t enough, she will be fighting Schadko behind closed doors in the German’s own boxing club, the CPI Gym.

Stepping up in opponent nor stepping into that opponents gym in the notoriously hard country to win in, won’t phase Phelan warns her coach.

Indeed, it won’t have a barring on the outcome claims Barrett, who some may know as #13 from his stint on the RTÉ programme.

The confident trainer, has been fastidious in his research and preparations for this fight and is certain Ireland’s youngest female pro will cause an upset.

The analytic cornerman details how “they’re going to be facing a fitter, stronger, faster Katelynn Phelan than they would have fought before. All her numbers have improved, her PBs are smashed, and we’ve added lots of new skills to her arsenal. Unfortunately for them, the delay has actually worked in our favour,” he said.

“For us, preparation is all about strengths and weaknesses. We looked at Katelynn’s strengths and we looked at Jessica’s strengths and weaknesses, and we formulated a gameplan to exploit those. Every day we’ve been working, day-in, day-out honing that gameplan and we have full confidence in it. We have Plan B, Plan C.”

Barrett is well aware they go into the fight as underdogs, in fact he seems to be counting on the German’s over looking the challenge at hand.

However, even with the odds stacked against her, he can’t but see what would be a career changing away win.

“We’re literally fighting in their home gym so everything’s against us, all the odds are against us, no-one’s giving us a chance – but from what I see from Katelynn day-in, day-out in the gym, I know that she’s going to win this fight and we’re going there full of confidence.”

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 sports for a living for over 20 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