| 11.1°C Belfast

James McGivern delighted to taste victory on pro debut



Winner: James McGivern after his victory last night

Winner: James McGivern after his victory last night

Winner: James McGivern after his victory last night

Belfast lightweight James McGivern got his professional boxing career off to a winning start with a 60-54 victory over Stockport hardman Jamie Quinn last night.

Opening the show in Wakefield, which was headlined by Lewis Crocker, McGivern was razor sharp from the off, particularly with shots to either side of the body.

"I knew he was tough as they come," said McGivern after the bout.

"I really enjoyed it and I'm glad I got that fight. I hit him with back-hands to the head, back-hands to the body and he took them all. He was a tough customer."

The defensively-minded Quinn was in good shape but McGivern's raking body assaults were taking their toll by the third round as his journeyman opponent shook out the arms in a tell-tale sign of fatigue.

As McGivern told lead commentator Alex Steedman after the contest, focusing exclusively on Quinn's unfavourable record of 100-plus defeats misses the fact that he is rarely stopped and often sent out to test upcoming prospects.

The jab was working well for 22-year-old McGivern. Boxing tall out of the southpaw stance, the 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist took control of centre ring and barely took a backwards step throughout the six-rounder.

It was just what he needed after an extended ring absence and he impressed on his first pro outing.

"Hopefully I can get a crowd together back in Belfast and it'll be like a second debut," added McGivern.

Also on the card, southpaw Gary Cully survived a fifth-round knockdown scare to defeat Welshman Craig Woodruff 77-75.

The Naas lightweight was last seen in Belfast beating local hope Joe Fitzpatrick in one round to claim the Irish title.

Tough Woodruff entered with five losses on the slate but has a reputation for taking good fighters deep.

A snappy Woodruff right hand caught Cully leaning forward in the fifth and he was dropped.

The taller man regrouped, however, and maintained his fierce work rate to win on the cards.

Referee Phil Edwards' total might have been closer than expected but the right man got the win.

"Fair play to Craig, he woke me up. I was getting a little bit comfortable," said Cully. "I've never been knocked down before, even in sparring.

"It's good for the experience. Exciting southpaw, 6ft 2in who scores knockdowns and gets knocked down too!"

Belleek middleweight Fearghus Quinn won his pro debut with a 60-54 shut-out of competitive Robbie Chapman.

Belfast Telegraph