West Coast Killa – L.A. switch has James McGivern hitting new levels

James McGivern [4-0] has his fill of sparring and wants to feel his knuckles through the gloves again.

‘The Natural’ makes his American debut when he fights Luis Montellano [3(3)-9(1)-3] at the Kid Gloves Gym in Simi Valley, California on Saturday night.

The undefeated lightweight goes into the fight on the back of a camp that was prolonged by the fact his proposed ‘Return of the Mick’ fight with Tony McGlynn was cancelled last minute.

It means the stylist has been in the gym for almost five months, which in turn has given him a real desire to let his hands go in competitive action.

“I was supposed to have a fight in August and this is week 20 of my camp,” McGivern said. “After that didn’t happen, we scrubbed it and just followed on. I wanted to fight soon anyway so we just started working on getting a fight arranged.

“I just want to get in and get the job done in a nice fashion. I’m done with the 16oz gloves and the headgear now; I’m sick wearing it and just want to go trade some proper leather now.”

McGivern has been in California since last week and the St George’s southpaw believes the boxing haunts of Los Angeles will stand to him this weekend.

The 24-year-old suggests some firefight spars will help light up LA on Saturday.

“It has been brilliant in LA. Being in these gyms have opened my eyes, big time. When I’m back home, I’m in an amateur gym for sparring, but amateur and professional are two completely different sports really. You need to be in the pro gyms sparring other pros.

“Every spar is a firefight and no-one is pulling out any punches.”

“It’s one step at a time and I want to be busy now. It’s one step at a time, but I want another fight or two before the end of the year. Ideally, I’ll get out of this one and get back into camp again. I’m ready to deal with whatever is fired at me and I want another top performance.”

A bronze medalist at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, McGivern will go through the ropes for the first time since a win over Rustem Fatkhullin last November at the Ulster Hall in his native Belfast.

The fighter who will have world title challenger Jason Quigley and his father Ben in his corner on fight night also fights under the Sheer Sports banner for the first time and is keen to impress his new employers.

McGivern added: “I want Sheer Sports to come away from this and feel like they have a diamond and that it was the right decision to take me on board.”

Although he suggests he may not look as ‘sexy’ as usual against a rough and ready Mexican.

“As much as I like to fight well and be sexy and clean, sometimes you have to go to the trenches in a dogfight. This guy is a tough Mexican. He’ll come looking for a tear-up, but I’m excited for it,” he adds before discussing his plans for the remainder of the year.

“It’s one step at a time and I want to be busy now. It’s one step at a time, but I want another fight or two before the end of the year. Ideally, I’ll get out of this one and get back into camp again. I’m ready to deal with whatever is fired at me and I want another top performance.”

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