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Conlan will be vital as both manager and mentor in my bid for glory, claims young talent McGivern

 

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Belfast boxer James McGivern

Belfast boxer James McGivern

Belfast boxer James McGivern

James McGivern knows the professional boxing world is an unknown quantity for him and his coach, dad Jim, so he admits that manager Jamie Conlan will be critical to his success.

More than just making sure he has the right match-ups at the optimum time, McGivern has revealed he is relying on former world title challenger and Commonwealth champion Conlan to give him the direction he needs in every aspect of his career.

Commonwealth Games bronze medallist McGivern will finally make his pro debut on August 25 in Sheffield, four months on from the moment he expected to step into the paid ranks only for Covid-19 to put everything on hold.

McGivern expects to be in a six-rounder and hopes to make an instant impact - pointing to the rise of Sean McComb under the guidance of Conlan as the blueprint for his own development.

"They have been struggling to get me an opponent and I said to Jamie I'd take on the Commonwealth champion in my first fight but he made it clear that I had to learn my trade and I get that. But I do want to see my career move quickly, just like the way Sean McComb has taken off as a professional," said exciting talent McGivern.

"Jamie is going to be a big character in my career. For me and my dad, going into professional boxing is stepping into new water and we know we need Jamie's advice on various things. So, it's at a point now where we speak once a week - we tell Jamie what we have worked, how we have worked and he gives us feedback.

"Jamie has been there and done it as a professional and we were good friends before I turned professional so it's good to have someone we can completely trust because the professional boxing business is tough.

"Jamie is happy for us to pick his brains so we are able to talk about every aspect of the business and he has the experience to give us. It couldn't be a better situation for me."

The Belfast man has admitted to suffering from mental health issues and while that is an ongoing issue that has to be managed, 22-year-old McGivern - who will start off at super-feather but probably drop to feather - says he handled the lockdown very well with the help of his dad and brother Jack, a talented amateur.

Working with dad Jim at home, McGivern was also in constant contact with strength and conditioning coach Stuart McKeating as he maintained his fitness and kept his weight under control.

"I felt I had a decent regime during lockdown - we had a punch bag at home and Jack and I were able to work out together. As well as that, I did my running so I feel I'm in very good shape at this point and come next month I'll be ready to go, no problem," added McGivern.

"It has been over a year since I boxed so I'm looking forward to that feeling of being a bit nervous just before it's time to fight and it's great to have my fight being shown on ESPN.

"I had a tough time with my mental health but I now have good coping mechanisms and training is great for me - the fire is back in my belly and I'm excited about what I can do in the sport."

Belfast Telegraph