'Box office' Brett McGinty is 'TV gold' for Channel 5: says Mick Hennessy

BOXING PROMOTER Mick Hennessy insists Channel 5 would be keen to bring ‘big time boxing’ back to the North West of Ireland and hopes his rising star, Brett McGinty, can top the bill in a potential homecoming European title fight in the near future.

By Simon Collins
Monday, 17th May 2021, 7:57 pm
Updated Monday, 17th May 2021, 8:00 pm
Brett McGinty signs his contract with Hennessy Sports overseen by Mick Hennessy and trainer Ricky Hatton
Brett McGinty signs his contract with Hennessy Sports overseen by Mick Hennessy and trainer Ricky Hatton

Hennessy has described the former Oak Leaf light middleweight as ‘TV gold’ and believes the St. Johnston man has got the potential to be a ‘box office’ attraction when he gets his professional career up and running.

McGinty (1-0) steps into the ring this Saturday at the Skydome in Coventry live on Channel 5 for his second professional fight against journeyman Jordan Grannum and Hennessy reckons the Ricky Hatton trained puncher has the talent, commitment and style to go all the way in the sport.

The promoter and Hatton are prepared to bide their time as McGinty learns his trade in the paid ranks but Hennessy is excited about the potential of bringing a top promotion to Ireland with McGinty and his Monaghan stablemate, Stevie McKenna, headlining once they suitably raise their respective profiles.

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“We need to take our time with him and obviously we will be looking for him to fight for a big Irish title, maybe the odd international title in between,” said Hennessy.

“The European title would be a fantastic title for Brett and something like the European title, I know Channel 5 would be keen to go to Ireland to do a big fight like that for the European title.

“At that stage, with the building and the plans we’ve got for Brett, I think he’s be on his way to becoming a major star. I just think there would be a big fanfare at that stage because we have got huge plans for him to keep him busy, keep developing him at the right pace and to make him a star.

“I honestly believe he can win a European title and that he can win world titles if we tick all the boxes. To do it with the style he’s got, would be box office in the end. He’s TV gold. His commitment, and what Brett showed in that first fight, he was so determined.

“When he needed to dig deep, he didn’t falter once, he just went straight through that big wall. Whatever came at him, he went through it and that’s a great sign for later on. When he has to dig deep in big fights, we know he’s got it there and that determination wins titles. We’re very excited to build him and I speak for Channel 5 as well because they said they will, we’re very excited to take the fight back to Ireland and do some massive shows there.”

Multiple world champion Hatton believes there’s a ‘strong possibility’ McGinty will headline shows on home soil soon providing he keeps progressing at the rate expected.

“Mick Hennessy is doing a wonderful job with the Irish boxers he has there,” said Hatton.

“They’re very passionate about boxing in Brett’s hometown and we hope he’ll top a bill there in the near future. With the stable that Mick has now, there’s a strong possibility that could happen and we could get big time boxing in Ireland.

“Brett is in fantastic shape and I’m sure he’s going to impress again on Saturday night.

“It’s just all about building yourself up but what better chance have you than with the job Mick’s done with him and with Channel 5 giving that exposure. People are getting used to him in the UK. I speak for Mick when I say he’s got a stable full of Irish stars and he’s just itching to get over to Ireland and put them all on a show together and get them all topping the bill and that.

"But I think Mick would agree with me, it’s got to be done in stages. That’s where we are and where we want to end up but you don’t get it overnight. You get it in stages, show by show, but with the potential they’ve all got, it will happen. Give him time and I think he will make his country proud, like so many before him.”

Hennessy believes McGinty’s alliance with Hatton is a ‘powerful combination’ and expects the pair to go on an ‘exciting journey’ together.

“Not only is Brett a great fighter, but he’s a real nice person who I know will bring in the crowds. We want to build him and make everyone aware of him. I’ve been a big fan of Brett for many years. I’ve watched him at close quarters for a long time. I watched him at the National Stadium a few times, I watched him at the Commonwealths and I watched a live stream when he fought Nikita Ababiy.

“I’ve been a big fan of his fighting style, his TV style and his big heart as well. Brett McGinty has always had a pro style. Anyone who knew anything about boxing knew that’s where he was going to come into his own. To top it all off, he had a brilliant amateur career. Even with a very aggressive style, he still competed at the highest level brilliantly at every stage. Three rounds were always too quick for him. I watched him in finals where he could have got the decision or someone was too slippery. I knew he would be a great pro.

“If I could have scripted whom he’d end up with, it would be Ricky Hatton as trainer. Those two together, what a story. They’re very similar styles, great tv styles, fan-friendly styles. Ricky had a brilliant amateur career and was a decorated amateur. Brett is the same. They are a very powerful combination. This will be a very exciting journey and we’re looking forward very much to Brett’s second pro fight. We want to keep him very busy this year.”

Watch Brett McGinty live and free on Channel 5 on Saturday May 22nd