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Friday 14 December 2018

McDonagh cool as Ice as he steps into the dragon's den

OPPORTUNITY: Dylan McDonagh (right) squares off against Welshman Sean McGoldrick in Cardiff tonight.
OPPORTUNITY: Dylan McDonagh (right) squares off against Welshman Sean McGoldrick in Cardiff tonight.

Four days notice to fight an unbeaten Matchroom prospect with gold and bronze Commonwealth Games medals to his name?

Bring it on, says Dylan McDonagh, who is ready to shock the world live on Skysports tonight as the biggest appetiser to the main event in the Ice Arena, Cardiff.

McDonagh (3-0) steps up to eight rounds for the first time against Welshman Sean McGoldrick(6-0) this evening, live on TV and with one of the world's biggest promoters Eddie Hearn in attendance.

The Tallaght bantamweight has been in the Welsh capital since Thursday, taking in the press conference and yesterday's weigh-in, in Cardiff city centre, and has enjoyed every minute.

He is not, however, stepping through the ropes tonight, for anything other than a life-changing victory.

Rabbit

"It's been a great experience over the last couple of days, but I'm not like a rabbit in the headlights or anything like that," McDonagh told the Herald.

"This is where I belong, I've pictured myself fighting on these big cards, live on TV and I believe I'm going to win.

"I've been getting better which each fight and had a good scrap three weeks ago where I learned a lot - it's left me spot on for this.

"Obviously four days notice isn't ideal against a guy like this but I very quickly blew any cobwebs off and I'm ready."

It is a jump from ticking over in his club in Westside, Tallaght waiting for his next domestic scrap, to the glitz and glamour of Matchroom and Skysports, but McDonagh jumped at the opportunity when it presented itself.

Fighter/manager Jay Byrne, who himself has fought some of Eddie Hearn's top talents and enjoys an excellent relationship with Matchroom's head matchmaker Paul Ready, set the fight up for McDonagh.

Byrne has been acting in an agency role in Ireland for the promoters and has had a major role in fellow Irishmen Carl McDonald and Craig O'Brien fighting on Sky recently.

"Jay got onto my management team offering me the fight, and I didn't hesitate to accept it - of course. It's a huge opportunity and I'm delighted he thought of me.

"It was all relatively painless from there on and as soon as I heard the offer I got down to work.

"I hadn't put too much weight on since I fought on Celtic Clash 6 for Boxing Ireland, who also manage me, and since I've got the nod I've been laser focused.

"I know he's going to have the home crowd behind him but I thrive on that. If the Welsh fans think a bit of noise is going to faze me they've another thing coming.

"I'm here to do a job and that's what I'll do."

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