OAKLEAF boxer Brett McGinty, believes he’s in the best shape of his career as he prepares for Saturday night’s National Elite Championship Final against old foe Michael Nevin.
The 19-year-old who has suffered two defeats at this stage of the competition knows Saturday evening’s final is going to be tough.
I’m not in the sport to get to finals, I’m in the sport to win competitions.Brett McGinty
The St Johnston man was the last man to defeat Nevin in Ireland, and he believes that win a few years ago will be playing on the Portlaoise man’s mind.
“Michael is a world class boxer,” he stated.
“I probably know him better than anybody, because I have fought him twice. I have won one and he has won one, but I won the last one in 2016 at the U18s and that was the last time he lost in this country, although to be fair he doesn’t really fight that much here.
“I’m sure that last defeat is playing on his mind and hopefully that record continues on Saturday and I win my first senior title.
“We’ve been away to both the European and World Championships twice and for every competition we have been sparring partners, because he has either been the weight below me or above me, so I have probably done 100 rounds with him, whether it be fighting or sparring. So I know him inside out and he knows me inside out.
“We kind of know what to expect from each other, so I’m going to have to have my thinking cap on for Saturday night.
“I can’t just go and look for a fight, because I won’t get it with him because he’s a smart boxer and he’ll know what he’ll need to do to beat me.
“But I’m more than ready for it and I’m probably the best I have ever been and I’m ready to go.”
After suffering a defeat in last year’s National Final the Donegal native wants to go one step further tomorrow night.
“Yeah it’s my third senior final in the space of around 12 months so I definitely want to make this one count,” he insisted.
“I’m not in the sport to get to finals, I’m in the sport to win competitions.
“That’s the plan this weekend to go out and win the title, but it’s as tough a fight if not tougher as it was for any of the other two.
“But it’s an Irish Senior final at the end of the day, it was always going to be a tough one, but I just need to go and grab the bull by the horns and go and win it.
“It was nearly an achievement in itself getting to the final last year, because I was only 18 and I was the youngest boxer in the competition, but getting to finals is one thing, winning competitions is a whole different ball game.”
Making the 69kg welterweight limit was becoming more and more of a struggle, so McGinty decided to move up to middleweight, where he feels a lot more comfortable.
“I have moved up in weight this year and that has made a big difference,” he added.
“This time last year I would be still be a couple of kilos over and I would be going to training with a sweat-suit on to get the weight off, whereas the weight is perfect now at the minute.
“It’s not even my main concern, I’m just thinking about the fight as I know the weight will take care of itself and I know I’ll make the weight no bother and that’s a big, big weight off my shoulders.
“Although the Ulster Seniors didn’t go so well and I did six months solid training for them and I took a couple of weeks off after the Ulsters to really just recharge the batteries and I decided to move up in weight.
“Because the weight didn’t do me any favours in that competition and so far so good in the middleweight division, I have had two fights at this weight and two very good performances and I’m just hoping that I can have a third this weekend to just top it off with a senior title.
“I know what to expect in terms of the National Finals being live on TV and I would say last year I was a wee bit raw, as it was my first senior competition and as I said reaching the final was a exciting but I don’t see it like that this year.
“This year it’s just another final for me and I need to win it,” he concluded.