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Islington Boxing Club fighter eager for McDonagh rematch at Tufnell Park show

PUBLISHED: 10:00 02 February 2017

Islington BC's Mason Smith

Islington BC's Mason Smith

Dieter Perry

Islington BC’s Mason Smith feels he and opponent Martin McDonagh both have much to prove when they clash in an eagerly-awaited rematch next week.

Smith, who now trains with the GB Boxing podium potential squad, is back in an Islington vest on Thursday February 9 for the club’s open show at the Boston Arms, Tufnell Park.

The 20-year-old light-welterweight will be up against Rumbles ABC’s McDonagh, who he edged out on a split decision in the England Boxing Elite Championship semi-final nine months ago.

The pair had been due to fight again in October at York Hall, but McDonagh – who is the NABC champion and national title belt holder – pulled out of that bout because of illness.

Smith told the Gazette: “We’ve both wanted a rematch for a long time and I think we’ve both got a lot to prove. I’ve got to show the level that I’m at now with GB.

“I boxed the day before our semi-final in Liverpool and I didn’t feel 100 per cent ready. I didn’t come out of first gear all fight and just stayed at the same level.

“This time I’m hoping I can step it up a few gears. I didn’t perform to my best, but I still won – and he’s got to show he can beat me.

“He’s an awkward southpaw, he’s got a very weird style and I need to adapt to it on fight night. I got a lot of southpaw sparring recently at the GB training camp in Spain and hopefully that’ll come in useful.

“I’ve boxed at the Boston Arms five or six times – that was always the venue for home shows with my old club Finchley, so boxing there will definitely feel like home.”

Smith’s GB selection will limit his involvement at domestic level, so his availability for the Boston Arms show is a bonus for the Hazellville Road club.

Islington’s competition secretary Reggie Hagland said: “I feel this is the contest that our supporters and the amateur boxing community are going to be most excited to see on the night.

“If it’s as close and competitive as the last time they met, we’ll be in for a treat.”

The show includes several other senior contests, with Islington’s Troy Smart taking on national development semi-finalist Chris McKenzie (London Community) at 56kg.

Amy Andrew faces Cheltenham KO’s Leanne Blecher in a 57kg match-up, while Borys Feldman (68kg), Chris Onwuegbusi (75kg), Yaser Al-Ghena (70kg) and Jiyan Oguz (57kg) will all feature.

Judah Meade, 17, is set for his amateur debut at 58kg, along with Masood Abdulah (61kg). The club also hope to have up to a dozen of their junior boxers in action.

Those include Freddie Kinsella (60kg), Dillion McDonagh (55kg), Jayven Wilson (69kg), Ruhel ‘Bob’ Miah (60kg) and Kerem Sertten (34kg).

Doors open at 6.30pm, with boxing due to begin at 8pm, and tickets for the show, priced at £15 (adults) and £5 (16 and under) are available in advance from the Hazellville Road gym.

Alternatively, call events manager Mick Doherty on 07921 724 601 or email ibcmc@hotmail.com

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