Cool Cathy McAleer ready for big nights as title chase heats up


Cathy McAleer [2(0)-0] believes she has proved not only can she box, but she means business in her opening two boxing bouts.

As a former world level kickboxer, karate and MMA operator there was widespread interest in how the all-action Belfast fighter would adapt to the pro ranks.

Those who have seen her in action live have been impressed, with most making reference to an entertaining style and gutsy approach, whilst her ticket-selling capabilities and her vocal support haven’t gone unnoticed as she heads into her third fight, and a step up to six rounds, on the MHD ‘Summer Brawl’ bill this Saturday night at the Europa Hotel.

There was always a bit of buzz surrounding McAleer and interest has grown since she announced her intention to turn over, but that interest has progressed to genuine support over just two fights.

As with any convert from other codes, there is always a question mark involved but the 40-year-seems to have answered them.

Super bantamweight McAleer is aware there is always room for improvement, but she is happy in the knowledge she has shown boxing skill and proved to people she is not an kickboxing or MMA novelty act.

Indeed, the world title targeter embraces the hype, but is keen to prove she is not a hype job.

“Yes I am aware,” she tells Irish-Boxing.com when asked about the hype

“it’s fantastic. I have great support and following from both local crowds and worldwide, that know or have seen me compete through my martial arts career and achieve three world titles in karate and kickboxing.”

“I have been over the moon with the feedback, messages, encouragement I have received.,” she added before revealing the support is another motivating factor.

“The support drives me on to make sure I am successful and give it 110%. The hype around me, is certainly a good thing and as my promoter Mr Mark Dunlop said, it’s great progress after two very tough contests under my belt, I’ve proved to many I can box and I mean business.”

The support generated, the interest raised, and the nature of women’s boxing makes it, in theory, ‘easier’ for McAleer to secure a title shot earlier than most pros at a similar stage of their career.

However, there has been talk suggesting win on the ‘Summer Brawl’ card this weekend and the Ulsterwoman will challenge for a title next time out and as early as her fourth fight.

The John Breen-trained fighter is adamant that title talk doesn’t add pressure ahead of Saturday, pointing out that she has world title dreams and in that regard already has plans to fight for the kind of titles that will enhance her world chances.

“My aim when I signed professional and transferred form K1 was to win a fourth world title in a fourth discipline. The fact I am being considered for a title fight in my fourth contest I am over the moon to hear. It’s what I set out to achieve and each fight I take and give it 100% as each step is so important in helping me achieve my long term outcome.”

“There is no more added pressure than normal, just excitement to be honest, to see where I go next and what doors open and opportunities come forward.”

Titles is not all that the three-code world champ has been linked to of late. MHD boss Mark Dunlop has name-dropped Matchroom prospect Shannon Courtenay as a potential future foes – and with the promoter having a good working relationship with Eddie Hearn it does look like a fight that could be easily made.

mcaleer courtenay

McAleer doesn’t see why not and will be looking for a statement against Romanian Cristina Busuioc – who brought Courtenay the distance in March.

“It certainly is a contest I’d like,” she confirms.

“Mark Dunlop has been great promoting me and getting me great contests on the Ulster Hall bill and now the Europa Hotel on Saturday night. I follow the guidance of my manager and coach Mr John Breen and promoter Mark Dunlop and when they say I am ready I am good to go.”

“I maintain my fitness and sparring after each contest, so I am ready at any time I am called. I do not take breaks off after events as I want to progress and continue to build on what I have achieved already.”

It is early days for McAleer in terms of boxing and she has improved continuously since the day she the day she asked veteran Breen to be her coach.

The Breen Team fighter claims her coach has been impressed with her progress as well as her dedication and they have taken things up another notch ahead of the fighter’s ring return this weekend.

“John is very pleased with my progress to date and has said how I’ve progressed. He also mentioned how committed I am and that is exactly what he likes in a boxer. John was very pleased with my last fight in the Ulster Hall and we’ve continued to build and work from that win towards the next challenge on Saturday night and we both are excited to see where the journey goes next.”

“We’ve worked on my speed – footwork – power – distance and timing, working to bring it all together during my sparring sessions for this fight,” McAleer adds before discussing how happy she is to appear on the Summer Brawl card at the Europa this weekend.

“I am excited to fight in the Europa Hotel on a great like up again with James Tennyson and Feargal McCrory. I have enjoyed my camp and working alongside Feargal and Stephen Web, it’s been great to work with such professional sportsmen and we all help and push each other.”

“To have my third professional fight within the year is a great start and a win would set me off to continue the journey I set out to in professional boxing career,” she adds before typically predicting excitement during the six rounds she contests.

“I predict a tough but great contest and, as with all my fights, there’s never a dull moment.”

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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: [email protected]