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Friday 24 November 2017

The Iceman breaks out

Amateur star McMahon signs exciting pro deal

Keane McMahon is already targeting a domestic title.
Keane McMahon is already targeting a domestic title.

David Murphy is a happy man.

Manager of Keane McMahon, who made his pro debut with an impressive win last month, Murphy has just signed an exclusive promotions deal with Len Gunning's busy London-based Boxing Ireland company.

"We've worked out a plan for Keane that should see him fighting for a title in about twelve months' time," he says.

McMahon, who was a talented amateur with a string of titles, greets the news that he'll be fighting at the National Stadium on September 9 on Celtic Clash 3: Building Champions, with the defiant declaration, "I know I'm good enough to win a domestic title."

Trained by Richie Fox in Ballybough BC since he was 8, McMahon (22) gave a masterclass of punching technique in his pro debut win. But he wasn't happy afterwards.

"It's only 50 per cent of what I can do," he said. "My last competitive fight was in the intermediates in November 2015. There was a bit of ring-rust there as well tonight."

Looking back now, McMahon is disappointed he didn't end the fight early.

"I hit him with a left hook to the body in the third round which really hurt him," he says. "He buckled. I should have stepped on it and doubled it like my coaches were saying. I could have finished him. But we'll work on that."

As suits his nickname, 'The Iceman', McMahon casts a cold eye on the professional path in front of him.

"I'm still a professional boxing baby," he insists. "I'm still learning the craft. A lot of people who'd have seen me in the amateurs would have thought, 'he's a slick counter-puncher, he moves a lot.' So I'm working on sitting down on the shots more. Intricacies like that. I'm just adding to my style. You have to make your shots count. These boys are tough."

Two former amateurs who've impressed him as pros are Carl Frampton and Eric Donovan.

"When I first came into the Irish set-up and won my first national title, I was a schoolboy boxer and Frampton was a senior," he recalls. "I watched him training a few times in the High Performance before he left and I said, 'This fella is a wrecking machine. He'll be perfect for the pros.'

And Donovan?

"I didn't think Eric would be as good as a pro as he is," he says. "He had a very amateur style, always on the back foot. But he's adapted to the pro game very well. That's good for me because I like to box and move as well. It shows it can be done."

McMahon's destructive style will attract fans. His manager has every reason to be pleased.

For sure, 'The Iceman' is a hot prospect.

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