Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Eamonn Magee Jnr inspired by dad's title successes

Lift-off: Eamonn Magee Jnr makes pro debut tonight

Eamonn Magee Jnr makes his professional debut in the Holiday Inn tonight and following in the footsteps of his father, who won multiple belts and boxed at world level during a 12-year career, will be no easy feat.

But the level-headed 21-year-old is just taking it all in his stride.

"Everything's dead on, I've been doing plenty of running and 80 rounds of sparring with Paul Hyland Jnr who's also on the bill," said Magee Jnr.

"I'm wary of this opponent, I've heard he's very scrappy and likes to hold a lot. He could be tough for my first fight but I'm ready."

Hungarian foe Zoltan Horvath lost a four-round points decision to Hyland Jnr in the Devenish recently and will provide a solid test for the rookie who trains at Willie Thompson's Spartans gym in Ballyclare.

"Willie's a great trainer and he teaches me a lot too. Whenever we spar together he breaks the sparring to give me bits of advice and tells me what to work on," he said.

Magee Jnr will box under Alan Wilton's promotional banner and is also hoping to squeeze on to Mark Dunlop's September show.

His aim is four or five fights before the end of the year. Boxing out of a cagey southpaw stance, Magee has always been a fan of the ultimate defensive master Pernell 'Sweet Pea' Whitaker.

"I'd planned on winning the Ulster or Irish Seniors and then hopefully going on to the Commonwealth Games but it wasn't to be," he explained.

"I always had ambitions to turn professional. I'm not sure how far I'll go but my main goal is to win the British title at lightweight."

Also on the seven-fight card, Alfredo Meli hopes that a good win over Dan Blackwell will push him towards title fights.

Lightweight Hyland Jnr tackles Joe Beedon, middleweight Luke Keeler faces Festim Lama and Ciaran Bates makes his light-welterweight debut against Mihaly Szalontai.

Light-middleweight Willie Thompson fights Liam Griffiths and heavyweight Kenneth Odeke boxes Moses Matovu.

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