28 May 2010 – By Cormac Campbell
Irish welterweight champion Stephen Haughian is leaving no stone unturned as he prepares for his Celtic welterweight title clash with Scotlands Kevin McIntyre on June 11 at Belfast’s Kings Hall.
The bout serves as chief support for Paul McCloskey’s European title defence against awkward Italian Guiseppe Lauri and features a host of the best and brightest of Ireland’s boxing prospects – including Jamie Conlan, Carl Frampton and Andy Murray.
Indeed, Lurgan native Haughian has acquired the services of strength and conditioning guru Mike McGurn who famously prepared Bernard Dunne for his WBA title victory over Ricardo Cordoba to improve his stamina. Speaking to irish-boxing.com Haughian said he is already feeling the benefits.
He has been getting me to do explosive power work as he says you arent going to be doing things in slow motion in a fight so why would you lift heavy weights slowly in training? he said.
So it is all explosive movements from the toe up which is similar to throwing a punch. I feel a lot stronger. In the past after days of sparring you feel run down and tired by the weekend, but this time I have felt better and my weight has been good as well.
Haughian began his preparation with gruelling runs up and down Slieve Gullion in South Armagh.
I only did it twice as you couldnt do it too many times. It is a bit like a footballer doing his pre-season work and I have that over now so it is all sparring and speed work at the weekend I do sprint work.
Haughian, 18-1-1 (8KO), has been preparing for the fight by sparring endless rounds with European light-welterweight champion Paul McCloskey and as a result he not only believes that he will overcome McIntyre, 27-7 (9KO) but will will secure a shot at the British title in the process.
I have seen a number of his full fights, he is more of a counterpunching southpaw, but I have done 50 rounds with Paul who is the best southpaw in Europe so that is very helpful, he said.
He cant be underestimated, but I feel there couldnt be a better time. The Celtic title is being used as an eliminator for the British title so I would like to get a shot.
Stay tune to irish-boxing.com for all the build-up ahead of June 11s Kings Hall card.