On December 3rd, Kirkdale’s Tom McGuiness begins his eagerly awaited professional career on Steve Wood’s show at Leigh Sports Village.
Headlining the bill will be the rematch between Sean Lewis and Adam Ismail for the Central Area title at welterweight, but McGuiness will be looking to steal the show.
“The plan was always to turn pro at 21. I got beat off a good kid in the ABA quarter finals last year, and I didn’t really know what to do with myself.
I got to the point where I thought I had to either knock the boxing on its head or make a go of it and turn pro. In the end it turned out the way I wanted it to anyway. Now I’m looking forward to a good career.”
Having watching some videos of Tom, he looks to have a style that will be very much suited to the professional game.
“I think my style is suited to the professionals, even more so than the amateurs. I have quite a relaxed style so I think it will suit me more as the rounds go longer. I think the pace suits me as well as I can think about things more, and pick the better shots. It will suit me down to a tee.
You get a bit more time in the pros and that will suit me, so hopefully it will show in my fights to come.”
As with any young fighter, signing with a good manager is vital and that is what McGuinness has done. By linking up with Steve Wood, he will be on big shows across the North West and will have a chance to impress thousands of people. With Steve recently signing a deal with Fight Life TV and Tanko Boxing, the exposure his fighters will now get is invaluable.
“One of my trainers used to box under Steve Wood and when I told him I wanted to turn pro, he pointed me in the direction of Steve. We got in touch with VIP and it went from there. I had a chat with him and we signed the contract from there.
Hopefully he will keep me busy, get me plenty of fights and keep me going in the right direction. I’ll keep winning for him and make sure everything goes to plan.”
As well as signing with VIP Promotions, Tom has also linked up with the newly formed Claymaker Boxing, headed by Simon Clayton.
“Simon has been great for me, he has helped me with sponsors and everything else. I’m not sure how I would have done everything without him and he’s been a big help.
He knows his boxing and it can only be a good thing that he is backing me. He is doing well with the likes of Joe Murray, it’s not like he’s working with anyone. He is working with people that he believes in and he’s shown trust in me. To have someone like him behind me can only help.”
Although he is to make his professional debut, the ‘Face of Kirkdale’ has big ambitions in the sport.
“My dream is to become a world champion. I wouldn’t have turned pro if I didn’t believe I could become a world champion. Don’t get me wrong everything on the way is good but to win a world title is something that I have always wanted to do, and it is something that will be pushing me through my training camps.
[In a years time] hopefully I’ll have stayed injury free and be busy. This will be my last one before Christmas but next year I want a good few fights. Hopefully I’ll have had a six rounder and will be looking to push on for titles in 2018.”
Favourite fighter growing up – Juan Manual Marquez
Favourite round – Corrales-Castillo round 10
Favourite Fight – Gatti vs. Ward 1
First fight you went to – First amateur fight was a club show for Kirkdale. Professionally it was Paul Smith vs Tony Quigley in the Echo Arena.
Best punch you’ve ever received – I sparred a lad on an England squad once and I got hit with a straight right hand, it was the only shot that has every stung me. I didn’t see it coming an thought I was out of range, it felt like I have been hit by a brick!
Craziest thing you’ve seen in boxing – One of my mates who I started boxing with was on the end of a bad decision in Wales, and when he got his trophy he walked across the room and threw it into the crowd. He caused a bit of a fuss!
Best fight you’ve seen live – Isaac Lowe boxing Tommy Ward in the ABCs in Wakefield, it was a brilliant fight. They’re both doing well in the pros now and it was a great fight.
By Luke Madeira, follow Luke on Twitter @lukemadeira15