'My team are working behind the scenes ' - McDonagh hoping Scottish victory will bring another title opportunity
FOR up-and-coming professional boxers in Ireland, life on the road to what they hope is the top can be very difficult.
Protecting that ‘0’ when moving through the ranks more often than not proves to be very expensive, particularly with the costs involved with pay show costs to promoters and to bring in a ‘journeyman’ opponent.
Tallaght Super Flyweight Dylan McDonagh knows the gig all too well.
A late-comer to the paid ranks, the 34-year-old moved to 4-3 last weekend when outpointing multiple Elite Lithuanian amateur champion and European Games competitor Marius Vysniauskas.
That win snaps a run of three defeats, although McDonagh lost nothing in defeat in all three.
Now, however, he has moved down the weights to fight at his natural weight of 115 lbs and his win on Friday, which came in Elgin, Scotland, looks to have opened some doors.
Having stepped up on just four days notice to fight live on SkySports last year and then suffered to agonising and close reversals for Irish and Celtic titles, he is hoping now that his latest success will bring another opportunity to fight for another strap.
"I can’t say too much because it’s very early days," McDonagh said, "but we’ve had contact about fighting for a belt in the new year.
"My team are working behind the scenes and it is all very positive at the moment so I’m hoping we can get it over the line and I can fight for this belt and that will get my closer to my ultimate goal which is to fight on the world stage."
Despite the three defeats, McDonagh was rewarded relatively well financially for his efforts, but his most recent bout saw the young father forking out to ensure he got his opportunity to impress.
That’s how it is when fighters don’t have that major backing from a big sponsor and when fighting in northern Scotland means that it would cost supporters a pretty penny to attend, but the Dubliner feels that the hard road has, and will, stand to him.
"It’s tough, very tough, when you’re coming up like I am and especially off the few defeats," added McDonagh.
"But I really do have the best team around me – we’re very close – and my wife Sinead is the most understanding woman in the world and is my biggest believer, so we dig in and make it work.
"It was incredible to fight live on Sky and also to be involved in huge nights for my two title fights.
"Main-eventing a massive domestic show is a testament to the hard work I’ve put in and what the people around me have put in so that’s what kept me going.
"I’m still improving under my coach Jonathan Lewins and if we can get this fight sorted it will take me again to another level."
Intensely focused and unerring in his own belief, McDonagh admits that there were low points after he saw a couple of titles slip through his grasp, but is quietly satisfied now with where his career is at the moment.
"There was certainly times when I was massively frustrated with some things – I had to switch trainers and management and had a long old period out if the ring for a couple of different reasons– but it will definitely be worth it when I’ve finally got a belt wrapped around my waist.
"It was a pleasure to be back fighting in Scotland and I must thank David McAllister for the opportunity.
"As I said, I’ve a great team. Without the likes of Paul Maguire Air Conditioning, my strength and conditioning coach Gareth Francis at Kickstart Fitness and nutritionist The Prep Master, I wouldn’t be where I am and talking about titles again."