Cathal targets Cyclone Junior
Published 23/04/2008 | 09:43
He's the man who wants to spoil the party and Cathal McCauley says he has the tools to do it.
Tomorrow night at Andersonstown Leisure Centre McCauley faces Shane McGuigan, son of Barry, for the welterweight title on finals night of the VIS Security Solutions Ulster seniors championships.
McCauley may be 23 but just like McGuigan he is in his first Ulster seniors due to a four-year absence from the ring.
It was a self-imposed exile which the Donegal man regrets as he was one of the most talented juniors on the Emerald Isle when he decided to hang up the gloves.
Irish titles were followed by Four Nations gold in 2000 and 2002 and having claimed the Ulster Intermediates title it seemed he was to embark on a successful seniors career. But then he hit a wall.
"I was burned out, mentally more than anything else," said McCauley, who will start a slight favourite against McGuigan.
"I had been boxing since I was nine and I just got bored with it, I just didn't want to do it any more and I felt I needed the break but to be honest I now regret it.
"Then last year I caught the bug again. Ireland has been going through a bit of a resurgence and I wanted to be part of that, so I said to my coaches Brendan and Daniel McCole that I was coming back."
A factory driver in Dublin, McCauley commutes to Donegal and the Dungloe club at weekends, while during the week he trains with the highly successful St Saviour's club in Dublin.
"I work with John McCormack down there and it's great for me - I've done quite a bit of sparring with Darren Sutherland which is good quality."
McCauley now faces his hardest test in the shape of McGuigan who has caught the eye with two rampaging displays in the Dockers Club last week.
The Donegal man had a more taxing encounter in his semi-final last Friday night, having to climb off the floor to outpoint Shane McKeown 9-7.
"I was caught square and off balance but I got back up and I think at the end I had thrown the cleaner shots," said McCauley.
"It was a bit of relief but I have bene shaking of the ring rust because that was only my third fight in four years.
"Last year I was looking to come back but I bust my hand in sparring.
"Now I'm back and enjoying the sport. I want to have four good years - I'm making up for lost time.
"I came through with the junior team which included Andy Lee and when I left then the money started coming into the sport!
"I'm not back to where I was as a junior, I would say that I'm 50 to 60 per cent of what I was."
But McCauley nevertheless believes that he will claim his first senior title at the expense of the McGuigan story.
"There's a lot of hype around the final and you would expect that but I think all the pressure is on him," he added.
"I think my experience will give me the edge. I haven't seen him but they say he is strong and sure I'll get a good look at him on the night.
"I've heard he hasn't had many fights so my southpaw style might cause some trouble.
"My heroes growing up where Roy Jones Jnr and Pernell Whitaker and of course Barry McGuigan so it will be a bit strange seeing him in the other corner. "But I'll just have to stay focused, blank him out and stay in the zone."
That may be easier said than done as the anticipation surrounding the final is mounting.
McCauley clearly believes that hsi maturity and smart boxing will be too much for 19-year-old McGuigan but you wonder if having not watched him he really knows what to expect from Cyclone junior.
An enthralling four rounds surely awaits.