BUNCRANA middleweight, John Hutchinson, believes his decision to team up with Belfast trainer, John Breen, will give him an extra edge when he features on Tyson Furey’s world title eliminator undercard next month.
Anxious to follow up on his professional boxing debut victory in Co. Mayo last August, the ‘Buncrana Banger’ is relishing his chance to shine on the big stage when he takes on Belfast’s Gerard Healy on Saturday, December 1st.
And having went toe-to-toe with Healy in the amateur ranks, the former Illies Golden Gloves member is expecting ‘fireworks’ when they re-engage in battle at the East Belfast venue.
“In Belfast I will be staring across the ring at a man I know well from my amateur days,” explained Hutchinson.
“I fought Gerard Healy in a real tough fight when we were both amateurs. It was a sizzling encounter and I have nothing but respect for his talents.
“He likes to come forward throwing bombs and so do I, so we won’t have to go looking for each other. It will probably be another slugfest, with me going in as the underdog again.
“He will have some key advantages over me like size and experience, not to mention fighting in his backyard as well. But if training keeps going the way it is and I can get the same support behind me as I did on my debut I am sure I can come out with another win.
“I learned my lesson from my debut fight and I’m now really focusing on my training, having committed to John Breen at the famous Breen Gym in Belfast.
“It’s been great since I have thrown myself into working with the guys up there,” continued the Buncrana man. “I have the best of both worlds. When I am up in Belfast I can test myself against top pros like Stephen Haughian and Brendan Fitzpatrick while working on the pads with a master like John Breen who has guided Paul McCloskey to a World title fight.
“And then when I’m in Donegal I have the honour of mixing with the likes of William McLaughlin, who for me is one of the best prospects in Ireland and doing Donegal proud in the World Series of Boxing,” enthused Hutchinson.
“I am really buzzing to be given the chance to perform on such a massive bill in the Odyssey Arena with names like Tyson Fury and Chris Eubank Jnr. also on the show.
“I think it will bring out the best in me. Without doubt it is definitely a case of the man who wants in most will take the win on the night, I know that I have put in the hard work and not cut any corners so I just hope Gerard has done the same and I am sure there will be fireworks in Belfast on the night,” added the unbeaten prospect.
The 26 year-old globe-trotting fighter got his career in the pro. ranks off to a flying start with a hard fought win over former Irish Amateur champion, Darren Cruise in a six round thriller at the Royal Theatre, Castlebar last August.
Hutchinson, a former Ulster Novices champion, attacked his Roscommon opponent from the first bell as the pair the fought at close quarters in what quickly became a slugfest.
“I think the support on the night was the deciding factor for me,” he explained. “It was a rude-awakening getting in there with an experienced fully fledged professional like Cruise, and I quickly realised there is a massive gulf in class between the semi-professional level and the licenced pros,” he admitted.
“I fought on the semi-pro circuit in England and Thailand, maybe I fully appreciate the leap in quality,” he said. “Cruise was quite a bit bigger than me and more experienced having fought in the Prizefighter Series on Sky Sports. He was really strong in there, leaning on me and putting the pressure on so I really had to dig deep to grind out the win.
“It wasn’t pretty boxing as we slugged it out and I picked up two big gashes from head clashes for my troubles but I did what I had to do to ensure that I started my pro career the way I intend to keep going and thankfully the referee raised my arm at the end of the fight.
“It was a massive relief to get the debut out of the way because I was so nervous and I think that drained a lot of my energy in the fight.
“Now I have a new challenge and I’m looking to build on what I learned in my debut,” he concluded.
Tickets for John’s bout at the Odyssey Arena on Saturday, December 1st range from £30 tiered seat and £195 for VIP ringside seats.
Tickets are available in Derry from The Healthy Way on Guildhall Square or in Buncrana at O’Flaherty’s Bar.