Brett McGinty excited to put on a show in front of travelling support in Coventry

BRETT McGINTY celebrated his professional debut victory alone with a can of coke and bar of chocolate at his Manchester digs due to Covid restrictions but the St Johnston boxer hopes his second outing will be a more enjoyable experience.

By Simon Collins
Saturday, 22nd May 2021, 9:06 am
Updated Saturday, 22nd May 2021, 9:10 am
Brett McGinty and trainer Ricky Hatton. Picture courtesy of Hennessy Sports.
Brett McGinty and trainer Ricky Hatton. Picture courtesy of Hennessy Sports.

The 22 year-old Ricky Hatton trained light-middleweight admits he feels more ‘relaxed’ ahead of his televised fight against late stand-in Dwain Grant (3-9-1) under the Mick Hennessy banner at the Skydome Arena in Coventry tonight.

On this occasion the eight-time Irish amateur champion will have at least 30 travelling supporters in his corner from his former amateur club, Oak Leaf ABC, as well as family and friends from St Johnston for the show headlined by Sam Eggington’s WBC Silver middleweight title fight with Carlos Molina.

With Covid restrictions in England lifted further this week, McGinty is looking forward to showcasing his improved skill-set in front of a ‘live’ audience at the venue.

“It’ll be great to have a few over,” said the Donegal man. “I was telling Ricky (Hatton) that after my last fight I went to the house and I was there myself. I was sitting watching the TV with a can of coke and a bar of chocolate and thinking to myself, ‘There’s not much craic in this. I’m just after making my pro debut,” he laughed.

“Obviously nobody could come over to watch it but there will be a few coming this time. There are still restrictions but hopefully some of my family will come over, it would be good to have somebody there to celebrate a good win with.”

McGinty was scheduled to face journeyman Jordan Grannum (5-73-2) but he pulled out at the final hour. While Grant, who lost to Luke Keeler on points in 2018, shouldn't cause too many problems for the Donegal man and despite the late change of opponent, it’s certainly not expected to be as tough a test as McGinty’s six round pro debut against Jan Ardon last Christmas.

His trainer, Hatton, claimed McGinty had called for a much tougher opponent but the former three time world champion prefers to ease his top prospect into life in the paid ranks. McGinty is just looking forward to getting back in the ring to show how he's improved since his pro debut.

“I’m more relaxed coming into this fight. I had pro debut nerves, I don’t have that now. A lot of people don’t know, but I had nearly two years of inactivity before the last fight. My last amateur fight was in February 2019 and my pro debut was in December 2020. I had 19 months, a long time, out of the ring. I have the debut out of the way now. I feel more comfortable for this fight.

“Maybe it’s an opportunity to enjoy it a bit more but, ultimately, I need to go in there and implement the things I’ve been learning. I plan to do that."

McGinty’s learned a lot from his gung-ho approach to his pro debut and has been working more on defence ahead of this one.

“I took a few silly shots in the fight (debut) that I didn’t need to but that came from the whole debut thing and what comes along with it. There were mistakes I made in the fight and I would be hoping I don’t make them again. That’s just part of the game. I’ve been working on a lot of things, the variation of the jab and my head movement is getting better. My defence is getting better. These are all things I want to be trying it on the 22nd. I want to be making slight improvements all the time.”

“Ricky always says to me, it’s not about this fight or the next fight, it’s about three or four years down the line.

“This is an opportunity to show I’m learning. I’m still a novice in my pro career. I’m learning every fight and this a fight to try the new things. It’s up to me to implement the things in the fight. That’s what I’m training to do.”

Watch Brett McGinty live and free on Channel 5 tonight