SEAN McGLINCHEY’s never been one to shirk a challenge and he’s staying true to form as he prepares to make his professional boxing debut on the ‘A New Era’ promotion at the Devenish Complex, Belfast tomorrow night.
The 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist has frequently conceded height and reach advantage during his amateur career as a light heavyweight. And having made the transition into the paid ranks, the 24 year-old insists he feels a lot more comfortable going into his debut fight as a super middleweight.
“I’m feeling good and can’t wait now to get in the ring,” he said. “I’m sitting at a lighter weight and I’m feeling good, fast and powerful as well. It’s more of a natural weight for me. It’s taken me a while to get to this weight. I was sitting heavy before I started training for this fight but I got there in the end up. I’ll get the weigh-in out of the way, get re-fuelled and get into the ring Saturday night and do the business.”
He could have been forgiven for selecting a less dangerous opponent for his opening pro fight. Instead his promoter and manager, Kieran Farrell and coach, former world champion, Glenn McCrory have settled on tough Czech Republic native, Josef Obeslo (6-34).
The Central European has been fighting between light heavyweight and cruiserweight recently and earlier this month he took light heavyweight prospect, Sam Smith eight rounds when losing a 75-78 decision. And while he could prove a tricky customer for the Creggan man, McGlinchey isn’t concerned about who he’s sharing the ring with.
“He’s experienced and I think he has a couple of KOs so he’s a dangerous fighter, But most of the guys he’s fought are coming in at 5-0 or 6-0 so it’s a tough one for my first fight.
“Glenn and Kieran sorted out the opponent and obviously Glenn is confident in what I can do and I just want to get in and get the job done - it doesn’t matter who’s across the ring from me. Glenn will tell me what the gameplan is and I’ll go in and get it done.”
The former Oak Leaf ABC clubman has enjoyed a tough but hugely successful 15 week training camp with former IBF cruiserweight world champ, McCrory at his Culdaff training base, the Wild Atlantic Boxing Gym. And with the Englishman in his corner, McGlinchey believes it has the potential to start opening doors and lead to big middleweight fights in the near future.
“It’s been a tight enough camp. It’s been about 15 weeks I’ve spent with Glenn in Culdaff and when he’s not here I’ve been at the Fitness Factory with Oak Leaf ABC. When he’s not here he leaves instructions. I’m feeling exceptionally fit. I’m sparring six three rounders with very little rest in between. This four rounder should be no problem for me.
“I’m excited to be with Glenn. We work well with each other. He’s told me I’ve fuelled his flame to get back into boxing again and that’s a good thing. For any coach to make the sacrifice to come to Ireland and travel away from family to train one fighter is exceptional and I appreciate everything he does. And it will pay off once I start winning titles.
“I always try to make sure it makes financial sense for myself and my family and I have to keep my job and keep an income. You have to think about where the next pound is coming from. Everything with this arrangement suits me down to the ground.”
McCrory has helped refine his boxing style and make subtle adjustments which McGlinchey feel have taken him on to a new level.
“I always felt I was more suited to the pro game because of the longer rounds as I seem to get stronger as the rounds go on. I think it will suit me. The changeover has been tough but there has been some changes made like my stance and I’m hoping with the smaller gloves and the things myself and Glenn have been working on, my opponents will be feeling the power.
“We’ll go in with a gameplan. I can fight and I can box. Whatever’s needed to get the job done I’ll do. I’m still an exciting fighter and will be looking to get in and mix it up. But if Glenn tells me it’s sensible to go on the back foot and box then I’ll do it. But I can do both.
“I’ve got the power and skill behind me and if the knockout comes, it comes. I’ll not be going looking for it. If it goes the four rounds, as long as I get the win.
“It’s all about building my name up and getting people to watch you. If you go out and knock them out in the first round you’ll catch someone’s eye but whatever way it’s done on the night it doesn’t matter.
“The people Glenn knows and the experience he has will help. People will be looking at me and saying they want a shot at me because of Glenn. Hopefully that’s the way it goes and I get in and show it’s not just Glenn in the corner, they have to get past me as well.
“We’ll take this fight and I’ll be weighing in on the super middleweight target but I’d say it’ll be straight back into training on Monday, no matter what happens and I’ll be constantly training so middleweight will be the target a couple of fights down the line.”