Leigh Park light-heavyweight, Joel McIntyre (17-2), heads into the next edition of the Ultimate Boxxer series at The Indigo at The O2 on November 2 and unveiled his tactics to triumph in the tournament.
The 30-year-old divulged, “I have been doing sparring sessions that are high-paced three by three’s in preparation already, but ultimately it comes down to recovery. Fitness is all about recovery and I consider it a big part of my game plan, without giving too much away.
“Recovery will be essential in the tournament, not just in-between rounds but in-between bouts as well. I work on my recovery after sessions; it’s all about slowing the heartrate, reducing lactic acid and muscle fatigue. It’s a high impact, high intensity sport and recovery is vital.”
The former English light-heavyweight champion, nicknamed ‘El Toro’, enters the competition as the most experienced and decorated of all eight contestants with over 100 professional rounds under his belt.
He affirmed, “I’ll be going in as the 20-fight veteran, so I’m more experienced than the other contestants, although I only had 12 amateur bouts.
“My weight and my diet are one of the many things that will be faultless, I’ve been in the game a long time now, I’m 30 so no spring chicken, but I feel I’m in my prime and I basically can’t afford to lose, and that will reflect in my training, as I’m 100 per cent dedicated.”
The 175-pounder also aims to approach the competition having researched all the competitors taking part to be fully prepared for the varied styles they can bring.
“My trainer, Daron Wiseman, can analyse boxing better than anyone I know so we are looking at all the other opponents and their different styles. There’s a kid that’s 6ft 6in and one who’s 5ft 9in so they will all pose different problems, but we will come up with the different solutions.”
Ultimate Boxxer II takes place on November 2 at The Indigo at The O2 and features light-heavyweight prospects John ‘Johnboy’ McCallum (11-1), a seven-time national amateur champion from Edinburgh with only one loss on his pro-record coming through injury; the highly-touted unbeaten 6ft 6in Shakan Pitters (7-0), 29 from Birmingham; courageous Dec ‘Kyd Nytro’ Spelman (12-1) who returns to the biggest stage yet since his tragic fight with the late Scott Westgarth; Southern Area title contender Jordan Joseph (7-2-1); British Challenge belt champion ‘Dazzling’ Darrel Church, (7-2-1); Frimley’s fledgling pro Sam Horsfall (2-0), widely considered as the wildcard after turning professional only earlier this year; and Paddy Fitzpatrick’s protégé ‘Sniper’ Sam Smith (5-1).
Love Island’s Idris Virgo (2-0) also appears as he takes part in his third pro fight on the undercard in his first appearance in the ring since his stint on TV’s most popular reality TV show.
The lucrative £50k prize money and the newest prize in boxing, the sought-after golden robe bestowed personally by Ricky Hatton, await the winner of the ground-breaking new tournament that mixes sport with youth culture and entertainment, with Britain’s biggest DJ Charlie Sloth in attendance alongside many other special guests.
Founded on a desire to make the professional game more accessible for boxers and fans alike, Ultimate Boxxer II will be shown on multiple platforms for all generations, with live coverage on Facebook via UNILAD from 8.15pm, before going live on Freeview on Channel 5Spike from 10pm.
World title challenger Paddy Barnes has offered an intriguing insight into what it’s like to spar his good friend Tyrone McCullagh, who fights for the WBO European title in Belfast on October 5.
McCullagh (11-0-KO6) headlines the MTK Global show at Titanic Exhibition Centre against Josh Kennedy (11-0-KO5) with a major belt on the line and Barnes believes both the unorthodox talent and the understated character of ‘White Chocolate’ deserve greater recognition.
Barnes said: “I’ve been boxing for about 15 years now and still if I spar him, I can’t work out his style. It’s completely unique to him. It defies sense and it defies sport. He’s a great fighter.
“Tyrone isn’t outspoken and essentially he’s not a d***head. Sometimes boxers go on saying a load of stuff to sell a fight and sometimes it works. What’s strange is that Tyrone isn’t quiet at all when you know him – he’s actually a headcase!
“It’s great that the TV cameras are coming here again. This is 100% the fight capital of Europe. There’s so much talent for such a small city so it’s great to have shows like this.
“There’s Carl Frampton, Ryan Burnett and now you’ve got James Tennyson about to fight for a world title. Myself and Jamie Conlan have done the same. All Jono Carroll’s best performances have been in Belfast too.
“It’s great Tyrone is fighting for another title here in Belfast. He can do it and I believe he will do it.”
McCullagh’s bid for European glory tops a card that also includes Steven Ward vs. Rolando Paredes, Marco McCullough vs. Ruddy Encarnacion, Paddy Gallagher’s Celtic title clash with Jay Byrne plus Sean McComb, Steven Donnelly, Padraig McCrory, Gary Cully, Nathaniel May, Steven Ward, Conrad Cummings and more.
Sean McComb is being touted as one of boxing’s most exciting prospects but the Belfast youngster remains completely relaxed.
‘The Public Nuisance’ has racked up two quick-fire stoppage wins since ending a decorated amateur career to turn professional and has already earned a slot on the undercard of Billy Joe Saunders vs. Demetrius Andrade in Boston on October 20.
Before that, McComb heads back to his home city to star on MTK Global’s inaugural Belfast show on October 5 – live on BoxNation. Despite friends and family baying for another showreel victory, McComb is unfazed by expectation.
The 26-year-old southpaw said: “There’s no pressure at all because I don’t care if I stop people or not. If people are disappointed I don’t knock someone out, I don’t care.
“I don’t care if I win a scrappy performance on points. It’s all about winning. All the other stuff is blocked out.
“I just focus on preparing. I’m a full-time athlete and that’s the way it is. I have been for five or six years so I know how to manage myself with training and food. I also know when to take time off.
“It’s working in my favour that I know how to control myself, how hard to train and when my sparring starts etc. It’s a big part of it and my trainer Danny Vaughan and I discuss it. That’s key when you’re out again so soon.
“You can’t tell when you’ve overtrained because your mind is telling you you should be training because you have a big fight – whether that’s Stateside or in Belfast. You simply have to treat it as any other fight.”