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Paul Quinn making some noise

By David Kelly

Annalong is not the obvious place to look for an aspiring professional boxer but Paul Quinn is a young man determined to make it to the big time.

Quinn is one of a plethora of Northern Ireland boxers to turn professional in the last few years, the majority of which are struggling to make their way up the ladder.

Some, like Ray Ginley and Anthony Cacace, have headed Stateside for a time, while others are hoping for a breakthrough on one of Carl Frampton's bills – such as fellow featherweight Marc McCullough who grabbed his chance with both hands when defeating former European champion Willie Casey last month.

Quinn has had four fights in 12 months, winning all of them, but more importantly for his future he has started to make some noise in the Mourne area, generating a healthy fan base in the embryonic stages of his career.

Quinn caught the eye at 17 when he won the Ulster intermediate title at the first attempt but then after a year out to build himself up for the senior level he gradually fell off the boxing radar.

Last weekend the 22-year-old former tiler made it four out of four with a stoppage victory over Sajid Khan at the Holiday Inn and he hopes that 2014 will see him climb the featherweight rankings.

"I am getting very good support, they're a great bunch of lads. The support seems to be growing all the time, from Kilkeel to Annalong, and I have family and fans in Downpatrick as well, they're really getting behind me," said Quinn.

"They make a lot of noise and to be honest I think some people are just coming along for the atmosphere and the craic more than actually coming to see me box.

"I know that in this business selling tickets is a major part of being a professional boxer and I'm very thankful that I don't have to work too hard at that.

"My dad and my family do the selling for me and as soon as people hear that I'm boxing they are on to us. I can't remember the last time, if ever, that this area had a professional boxer so it's something new for people.

"It's great when you walk into an arena and you hear that buzz and then you see the people roaring you on. It makes it a very exciting experience because it's not always easy boxing on small shows or even big ones.

"I remember when I boxed on a Tyson Fury show and I arrived at the arena at 5.30pm and didn't box until 11.30. It was tough but I got the win and that's what counts."

Dad Paddy honed his skills early on in the All Blacks club but now it's Panamanian Bernardo Checa who is in charge.

"Working with Bernardo Checa has been great. He has a lot of knowledge and I feel that in particular I am getting more power into my punching," said Quinn.

"I'm not getting ahead of myself, there's no rush but I am very confident and I know where I want to get to. I believe that in a couple of years time I could be boxing for the British title but there's a long way to go before that."

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