24 February 2011 – Steve Wellings
Mullingar stylist JJ McDonagh insists that two back to back wins have reignited his confidence and all but erased memories of the shock loss he suffered to Tommy Tolan last August. Speaking from his new Crumlin gym base in Dublin, JJ is hopeful of snaring a slot on the big March 19 title showdown between Willie Casey and Guillermo Rigondeaux.
I dont know for sure whether Ill be on the show in March, Im just waiting for something to come up, stated the 25-year-old, who fights alongside brother Paddy. Im pleased with my performance on both of the previous shows, in December 2010 and then my most recent outing in January of this year.
Irish Champion of the Year Anthony Fitzgerald headlined both of those events, with wins over Kevin Hammond and Lee Murtagh respectively. JJ took just four rounds to knock the resistance out of Latvias Denis Sirjatovs in his pre-Christmas outing. The prospect, trained by Tom Ward, then achieved six good rounds against perennial punchbag Phil Townley in the January contest.
With Tommy Tolan recently losing to Tony Jeffries in Belfast, it is conceivable that McDonagh may look to settle the score with the man who handed him his only professional defeat thus far, via a chilling third round knockout in Dublins City West.
Tommy came forward and applied a lot of pressure on Jeffries, with plenty of headwork thrown in, McDonagh commented, on the Lindsay-Simpson support act. He got caught with a good punch in the end and, seriously, theres no point in me going back in and fighting him for nothing. If there was an Irish title on the line then I would get in again with him; Id fight anybody for an Irish title. Ive done the scheduled rounds already so Im eligible for a shot. Im ready for whoever comes next.
Both McDonagh brothers are stylish southpaws who were employed as sparring hands for Brian Magee last year prior to the Lisburn mans European title crack at Mads Larsen in Denmark. Brian of course stopped Larsen for that crown and now meets Lucian Bute in Canada on March 19. Brians manager Pat Magee was suitably impressed with the workout that the McDonagh siblings offered his charge on that occasion and have asked them back for more, as Magee trains for the biggest night of his life.
Ive been helping Brian Magee prepare for Lucian Bute, along with my brother Paddy and its been going well, JJ confirmed. I helped Brian prepare for Mads Larsen last year and its always great experience to work with someone like him. Ive also been sparring Anthony Fitzgerald, so the preparation is good.