EAMONN O’KANE: My sparring partner is better than Tureano Johnson!

Oakleaf light heavyweight, Sean McGlinchey has been preparing for the Ulster Senior Championships by sparring with Eamonn O'Kane.
Oakleaf light heavyweight, Sean McGlinchey has been preparing for the Ulster Senior Championships by sparring with Eamonn O'Kane.
  • Sean McGlinchey clinched a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow
  • McGlinchey has been sparring with Eamonn O’Kane ahead of his IBF world title eliminator on October 17th
  • The Ulster Senior Championships begin on November 2nd next

SEAN McGlinchey plans on putting lessons learned during Eamonn O’Kane’s world title eliminator training camp into practice as he bids to bring an Ulster Senior title back to Oakleaf Amateur Boxing Club for the very first time next month.

The 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medalist was drafted in by King Kane’s team at his Swindon training camp to complete his sparring ahead of his IBF world title eliminator against Tureano Johnson on October 17th next.

Light heavyweight, McGlinchey duly obliged. And while O’Kane has used a variety of sparring partners to ready himself for Johnson, McGlinchey has been a crucial cog in the wheel as far as his preparations for the biggest fight of O’Kane’s life go.

In fact O’Kane went as far as suggesting McGlinchey was better than the man standing in his way of a IBF world middleweight title shot!

“Sean has been brilliant,” said O’Kane. “He’s been definitely helping me tick the boxes in terms of preparation for Johnson.

“He’s tough, durable, talented and he’s been pushing me and that’s exactly what you want.

Sean McGlinchey.

Sean McGlinchey.

“That’s why we brought him in. He’s got the Commonwealth bronze medal behind him and he’s a talented boxer. For me he’s better than Tureano Johnson!”

Huge praise from a man on the brink of a shot at the world middleweight title.


McGlinchey certainly offers explosive power and strength and he’s studied Johnson’s aggressive, come forward boxing style while locked away in his hotel during the week long training camp in England.

This past two years I’ve had a bit of bad luck with illness and injuries but this year the Irish and Ulster seniors are mine to take!

Sean McGlinchey

While the big punching McGlinchey is certainly flattered by the comparison with the world’s No 4 ranked middleweight, he’s keeping his feet firmly planted on the ground.

“It’s a big statement,” laughed McGlinchey. “The first day I sparred with Eamonn I didn’t know the game-plan, so I did my own thing.

“Paddy Fitzpatrick then asked me to have a look at Tureano Johnson and asked me if I could fight coming forward.

“So I went back to the hotel and watched a few of Tureano Johnson’s fights and he’s very good. He’s all about putting pressure on and he keeps going.

“Skill-wise, he just looks for big punches. He’s straight down the middle, there’s no slipping or sliding either side. He looks for that big shot.

“It’s nice to hear that I’m the perfect match for Johnson and that it will help them. It’s flattering to hear that.”

So impressed were King Kane’s team that they extended the invitation to their final training camp in New York City last week before it was cancelled at the final hour due to controversial visa mix-up with Golden Boy Promotions.

“My kind of fighting style suits them as it’s similar to how Johnson will fight. It’s helped me to learn different techniques, the crafty movements inside and I’m doing six rounds every day.

“It’s a great experience and I have to thank Paddy and Eamonn for inviting me over. I’m learning a lot of things. So while I’m there to help Eamonn, I’m also helping myself.

“It gives me that ambition and drive to improve myself. I set small goals and my first goal was to do four rounds because I’m a three round fighter at the minute.

“My goal was to do a hard four rounds and on my first day I did a hard five rounds. The fifth and sixth I was breathing heavy but my work is done at that stage.

“It’s good to know you have that extra bit in the tank so if I’m getting it tight in a fight I know in the back of my head I’ve done six high tempo rounds with Eamonn.

“I always said I would love to turn pro. The pro game is a hard game. I got my eyes open last week at Heathrow Airport. You get knock backs and quickly have to refocus. So it’s been a good learning curve.”

McGlinchey jumped at the chance of joining O’Kane’s camp and while he believes the experience will prove invaluable in his long term ambition to join the paid ranks, his immediate focus is on becoming Ulster and Irish senior champion this year.

Brandywell based amateur boxing club, Oakleaf have enjoyed great success in recent years but have never had a representative win an Ulster Senior title.

And after two years of heartbreak when he pulled out of the competition due to a hand injury in 2013 and then an Impetigo infection on his face in 2014, he’s determined to bring back gold next month for his club.

“I want to become Ulster Senior champion,” he added.

“We have the Ulsters and then two weeks later we have the Irish Seniors. So it’s all before Christmas this year.

“This past two years I’ve had a bit of bad luck with illness and injuries but this year the Irish and Ulster seniors are mine to take!”

Sean has been sponsored by Granny Annies, Blast Bootcamp, Get Prepped and Healthier Smoker.