Belfast Telegraph

The day Cyclone junior caused a storm: Barry

By David Kelly

It was the conversation that Barry McGuigan had been dreading. This was the one when one of his three sons would ask to follow in his footsteps and into a boxing ring.

Up stepped Shane to pop the question around three years ago. "I hadn't asked earlier because I knew he didn't want me to box but I plucked up the courage," says Shane.

For former world champion Barry it was a tough call as he didn't want to see his son under the kind of scrutiny that he has faced over the past fortnight on the way to tonight's welterweight decider with Shane McCauley of Dungloe in the Andersonstown Leisure Centre.

"He came to me and said 'Dad I want to box' and I wasn't happy about the thought of him boxing so I said go away and think about it because you're going to be under a lot of pressure," said Barry.

"He came back to me and said that if I didn't train him then he would go to the local gym so I said 'Right, I'll train you but it's going to be a pressure cooker'.

"He knows that everyone who steps into the ring is desperate to beat him and they'll fight 25 per cent better than normal because of who he is.

"I told him at the start that I would be tough on him and would be shouting at him, pushing him and he said 'that's fine'."

The former featherweight champion turned TV analyst has clearly had an immediate impact on Shane's style - you only have to look at the way he fires home a jarring left hook to the body. You don't learn that from too many amateur coaches.

McGuigan snr has linked up with Aylesham ABC and coaches Carl Moses and Lee Pullan, a Great Britain coach who has helped with the technical side of the amateur game which is far removed from the professional side of things.

It didn't take long for Barry to see that Shane had the ability and the desire to handle himself in the ring.

"Well I have to be honest and say that I could see quite quickly that he was very strong ... he hits very hard and he's a fast puncher.

"He still has a long way to go, he's a work in progress and every kid has strengths and weaknesses.

"We're working on developing fast feet, being able to get in and out but I'm very pleased with the way he has come along."

Now Shane, who represents Clones ABC, faces southpaw McCauley who with two Four Nations golds behind him as a junior arguably starts a slight favourite this evening.

Barry added: "It's a difficult fight and we know that because McCauley is experienced and he's a southpaw. It's quite a step up for Shane but he has progressed well and he's in great shape."

Tonight's finals:

Lt. Flyweight: Paddy Barnes (Holy Family) Walkover

Flyweight: Jamie Conlan (S.J.B, Belfast) v Ruari Dalton (St. Johns)

Bantamweight: Tyrone McCullagh (Illies GG) v Ryan Lindberg (Immaculata)

Featherweight: Carl Frampton (Mid/W. City) v Eamon Finnegan (Oliver Plunkett)

Lightweight: Anthony Cacace (Holy Trinity) v Stephen Donnelly (All Saints)

Lt. Welterweight: Patrick Gallagher (Gleann) v Patrick Murphy (S. Heart, Newry)

Welterweight: Shane McGuigan (Clones) v Cathal McCauley (Dungloe)

Middleweight: Eamon O'Kane (Immaculata) v Martin Lynch (Illies G.G.)

Lt. Heavyweight: Paul Moffett (Abbey) v Thomas McCarthy (O. Plunkett)

Heavyweight: John Paul Reah (SJB, Belfast) v Shane Curran (Enniskillen)

Super Heavyweight: Cathal McMonagle (Holy Trinity) Walkover

Belfast Telegraph

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