DERRY BOXER Sean McGlinchey is prepared to ‘dig deep’ to ensure that he silences his critics and clinches a medal at his first Commonwealth Games as he heads confidently into his quarter-final bout in Glasgow this evening.
The Oak Leaf ABC light-heavyweight faces 31-year-old Kenyan, Elly Ajowi Ochola in the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre with the winner guaranteed at least a bronze medal.
McGlinchey, who qualified for the N. Ireland team via a box-off, feels he was ‘written off’ and a certainty to exit the Games at the first round stage and he’s determined to prove his doubters wrong by returning home with a medal.
“There are people who thought I would come here and lose out in the first round, but I came here to enjoy the experience of my first Commonwealth Games.
“However, after winning on Sunday night I’m now much more driven to remain here to the end,” he claimed.
After navigating his way through a tricky last 16 bout against tough Jamaican, Chevan Clarke, he’s feeling confident he can progress into Friday’s semi-finals.
Driven by hopes of making his one year-old son, Callum proud, McGlinchey isn’t going to be easily despatched.
Indeed, finding himself one round down after a tough opener against Clarke on Sunday, McGlinchey had to dig deep to claw his way back to claim victory.
And the 22 year-old from Westway in Creggan, delivered when it mattered and edged the final two rounds to win on a split decision.
“I’m doing it all for my son,” he insisted. “That was going through my head right through that fight - I was doing it all for him.
“That’s what’s driving me on. I want to go home and be able to put a medal, whatever colour, around my son’s neck. This is a step towards making his life that little bit better and I just want to make him proud of me.
“I’m here now, I won my first fight and I’m one step away from a medal. One step away from being on that podium and that’s what I want. That’s what I came here to do.
“Every contest is one round at a time and then take it from there. This is the crucial part of the tournament and it will be tough, but I have to dig deep if I want it.
“I was buzzing having got through. It was a tough fight. First round I didn’t get my head together but I recharged the batteries going into the second and third and really went for it.
“He was very, very strong. I knew coming into my corner after the first round that I was a round down. It was either go out and enjoy the experience or go out and dig deep and get the win and I dug deep, showed heart and won the fight.
“I feel I have to get my head focused because I’m not there yet; I still have one fight to go. I have to try and keep my nerves under control knowing that I’m just one step away but I still have to go in and do the business.
“It’s very hard not to look beyond the fight and think about getting a bronze medal. but if you think like that then you can take your eye off the ball. So my main focus is on my next fight and my next opponent.”
Coyle also through to quarter-finalS
Joining McGlinchey in the last eight is Galliagh middleweight, Connor Coyle who will also be hopeful of clinching a medal after getting through a tough last 16 bout against Guyana’s Dennis Thomas yesterday evening.
Coyle will take on South African Siphiwe Lusizi in his last eight bout tomorrow evening. The middleweight division bouts are scheduled to start from 7.00 p.m.