Cathy McAleer [3(1)-0] was smiling ear to ear throughout the official launch of her September 16 Commonwealth title challenge at the Kronk Gym in Belfast on Wednesday.
The former kickboxing world champion certainly has every reason to be content. Not only has she the chance to register a career altering win in 16 weeks time, she gets to do so in just her fourth pro fight, on home soil and on top of her own bill.
However, a smile that screamed happiness opened wider and had a more mischievous glint to it once the John Breen trained puncher started to predict what type of fight she expects at the Europa Hotel in the Autumn.
The 41 year old sees similarities between herself and the fighter she looks to take the Commonwealth title off Kristen Fraser [6(2)-0] – and believes they will ensure the historic fight will be a memorable one too.
McAleer has noticed that just like herself the Scot likes to come forward and is prone to aggression. That is something the former Down footballer will rejoice in matching and as a result she can see the title fight turning into a war.
“I know she has six fights, six wins, she is from Aberdeen, she is a tough girl and she comes forward a lot. She is attacking and pretty aggressive, so it could be a war. It could be a good old battle because I am that kind of fighter too,” McAleer said with a glint in her eye.
The challenger’s bouts to date certainly have been value for money and while she seems to enjoy trading leather in abundance she also seems to take pleasure in the fact the fans are being entertained in the process.
“The supporters love a good contest and a good fight with a lot of punches. In my last couple of fights they have all said there were more punches thrown in one round than there was in the whole of other peoples fights. That’s me! I like action, I like to be fit, I like to move and I like to put people under pressure. So this fight should be a good event and good to watch.”
While her sizable fan base always get something worthwhile when they pay to watch the Belfast fighter they are also a massive help to the fighter herself.
Indeed, the fact they turn out in such numbers was key in being able to offer the champion the kind of purse to tempt her to put her title on the line in Belfast – and McAleer is grateful to say the least.
“The support I get for the fights is huge. It probably leads from the kick boxing and the karate. They have followed me all the way and now they probably thinking can she do it in another sport. It really helps having that local support.
“I have headlined shows in kicking boxing and in the K1, but to come on in three (boxing) fights and to be offered the chance to headline a show and challenge for a title is just unreal. It’s a dream come through.”
While the support play a part, September 16 is all about the fighter and the title on the line.
Winning the Commonwealth title will open doors for the keen to be fast tracked world title hopeful. Indeed, it may mean she won’t have to call for bouts with the likes of Shannon Courtenay as the Matchroom prospect and the likes will be come looking for her.
“Winning the Commonwealth title will open up massive doors for me. People will start looking me up properly and see I want to be here and I mean what I say. From the start I said I am here to win another world title.”
It is a massive opportunity for the code crosser and she explains when she got the news she was nearly as excited as her coach John Breen.
“When I got the news I couldn’t believe it. Mark Dunlop has been brilliant he has all fights so far. Whenever I phoned John he was over the moon, he was near tears in his eyes. We will work hard and put in 100 percent effort like we have with all the other fights and we look forward to a tough camp.”