Saturday 21 April 2018

McDonald hits back

Tallaght fighter ready to 'shut up' bullish Buckley

Carl McDonald is confident heading into Celtic Clash 3 at the National Stadium next Saturday.
Carl McDonald is confident heading into Celtic Clash 3 at the National Stadium next Saturday.

Next Saturday's Celtic Clash 3 at the National Stadium, headlined by Eric Donovan's BUI Celtic featherweight title fight with Dai Davies of Wales, promises some top class action.

The bantamweight showdown between Regan Buckley and Carl McDonald is already building a head of steam.

As reported here recently the "Rocket" Buckley camp reckon this is a 70-30 fight in Regan's favour.

"All the pressure's on him," snorts Carl McDonald. "He's the one coming up three weights, or so he says. God love him, it's tough at the top, innit."

"What he's not saying is that we're meeting in the middle," explains Carl. "He's weighing in a kilo heavier than he weighed in for his last fight. I'm weighing in a kilo lighter than I did for my last fight."

To underline his point, McDonald adds, "I'm ready to go tonight if he wants to. I had a great camp. Eddie (Hyland) always brings the best out of me. He trains me hard and leaves no stone unturned. I'm in great condition."

The focus on Buckley's amateur pedigree rankles with the Tallaght fighter.

"When he won his title, he got a walkover," he claims. "I had to win four fights when I won my title. I've fought top lads including John Joe Nevin, twice, and Kurt Walker."

Sponsored by The Drain Doctor, McDonald is not short on self-belief.

"When they offered me the fight, it was a no-brainer," he says. "I jumped on it straight away. I was confident of winning. And I'll prove that on fight night. My game's in great shape. I can take it inside or keep it at long-range or whatever."

McDonald says he hasn't studied Buckley's style. "I seen one round of his debut," he admits. "But I wasn't really taking notice. There'll be no excuses on Saturday night. I'm more than happy to shut him up. Let him go back down to his normal weight and stay where he is."

Another fighter who's attracting huge interest is former kickboxing champion Stephen McAfee (26), who delivered a sensational third round KO on his pro debut in May.

"It's not the first time I've knocked-out someone," says Stephen. "So I was amazed when I heard that it went viral on social media and received over 13,000 views."

Apart from obvious power, McAfee has lightning reflexes and is ice-cool under the lights.

"Now that I got a taste of it, it's driving me on more," McAfee adds. "I controlled the pace in my first fight and I want to step things up with another good performance next week. There seems to be a buzz building."

"As long as he has no more than two arms and two legs, I won't be worried," he says.

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