Novice pros in Letterkenny

28 September 2010

While Paul McCloskey will look to defend his European light welterweight title against Scotland’s Barry Morrison at The Aura, Letterkenny on Saturday night, three aspiring new pro’s will be looking to further their professional apprenticeships on the undercard.

Donegal native Michael McLaughlin, Mayo’s Finbarr Eade and Dublin’s Brendan Fitzpatrick will all be in action on the nine fight card.

Carndonagh native McLaughlin will have huge support as he makes his pro debut in his home county and naturally he’s excited about embarking on his new career so close to home. I’ve always wanted to turn professional since I started boxing as a 12 year old so this really is something I’ve been looking forward to for a long, long time, said the 26 year old who will campaign at light welterweight. I’ll have great support there from Carndonagh and I’m really excited about it because I never thought I’d get to make my pro debut so close to home.

McLaughlin won an Irish Intermediate title as an amateur and made the decision to turn professional after being forced to withdraw from this years Senior Championships with injury. I was in Australia for a while but I came back and had planned on giving the Senior’s a good go this year but I got injured and had to pull out so at that point I made the decision to switch to the pros.

Although the first bell is yet to ring on his professional career McLaughlin has already proved his commitment with regular five hour round trips to trainer John Breen’s Gym in Belfast.

It’s not easy but you need to make sacrifices in this game and that’s just one of them. Breen’s Gym is one the best in Europe right now so it’s worth making the trip up there a few times a week because the sparring there is top class with guys like Paul McCloskey and Andy Murray there. All the hard work has been done now so I’m back home this week just ticking over and waiting for that bell to ring on Saturday.

At 35 Westport native Finbarr Eade is something of a late comer to the pro game but with two impressive wins already under his belt the Mayo man is confident that he can make a big impact.

I might not be the youngest pro out there but I would like to think I’m still hungrier than most, said the Phil Sutcliffe trained fighter. People have said that time might be against me but if you look at someone like Willie Casey he’s shown what it’s possible to accomplish in just a short time in the pro’s. He turned pro just two years ago and he’s already getting a European title shot.

Even when I was an amateur I spent time in pro gyms in the US and Australia so it was always in the back of my mind to give the pro game a try. I was out of the sport for a few years but I started training kids at my dad’s club in Westport, the Eagle Boxing Club and I soon found that I was bitten by the boxing bug again.

There’s good opportunities out there in the pro ranks and hopefully if they come my way I’ll be able to grab them with both hands. I broke my hand last year shortly after my debut and that set me back for a bit but the fights are starting to come my way again now and I just want to keep as busy as I can and take whatever chances come my way. I’m confident that if I get the opportunities I can cause a few upsets and I’d love to win an Irish title but for now I just need to concentrate on this weekend.

Dubliner Brendan Fitzpatrick only made his pro debut at the National Stadium earlier this month but following an impressive stoppage win he’s already stepping up to a scheduled six rounder in his second outing. Like McLaughlin the Finglas native is trained by John Breen and the veteran Belfast trainer has been impressed by what he’s seen so far.

Brendan’s a great attitude in the gym, he’s willing to learn and he boxed to instructions in Dublin last month on his debut and got the result he deserved, said Breen.

He won’t be rushed but we won’t hold him back either and if he has to go the 6 rounds on Saturday I’m sure that won’t be a problem for him.

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