EAMONN O’KANE is confident Derry middleweight Sean McGlinchey will bounce back stronger from his first professional defeat.
The former IBF Inter-Continental middleweight champion was in McGlinchey’s corner for the Creggan man’s return to the ring after a 16 month absence last Saturday at the Titanic Exhibition Centre.
He suffered his first professional loss to his old amateur foe, Padraig McCrory who dropped him to the canvas at the end of the fourth round but O’Kane saw enough from the performance to reaffirm his belief that McGlinchey (2-1) has a promising career ahead of him.
The Banagher man, who retired from boxing in 2016, fought his way back from his first professional loss to John Ryder in 2012, winning the Irish title and the IBF Inter-Continental strap on his way fighting in a world title eliminator at Madison Square Garden.
And he isn’t overly concerned about the early blemish on McGlinchey’s record, especially given he was matched with the talented McCrory at just 24 hours notice.
“Three weeks out and he had a good bit of weight to lose. He was ticking over but he was still sitting a stone overweight.
“Both journeymen didn’t turn up for Sean and Padraig McCrory and they (MTK Global) asked the question would they fight each other. I initially I thought no because we hadn’t really prepared although I know he’s got the ability.
“I rang him up and he said ‘definitely’. From then I knew he could do it. He was in a positive frame of mind and I knew he was capable of doing it so I was happy with him.
“It’s disappointing the judges didn’t give him a round because that was ridiculous. Definitely some of those rounds had to be at least a draw if not shaded by Sean.
"There's no way the judges should've given it a landslide decision. It was a close enough fight. Some exchanges Sean was winning by finishing with the shot and some Padraig McCrory was winning, so it was nearly a case of who finished the round the best. I would say, other than Sean getting dropped, it should've been a draw.
“I fought John Ryder in the exact same circumstances. Short notice and nearly killed myself making the weight. I came back to fight for a world title eliminator. He took a contender fight and hats off to him.
"The world's his oyster. Sean's got the ability there's no doubt. Fair play to Sean for taking it because it takes a lot of bottle to do that."
And King Kane was delighted to see his old Ireland teammate, Tyrone McCullagh crowned WBO European champion after an eye-catching performance against previously unbeaten Josh Kennedy.
"I'm really excited for Tyrone as well because we've been friends for a long time in the Irish High Performance team winding each other up and putting toothpaste in each other's shoes and stuff like that. He's a great guy too," laughed O'Kane.