Brett McGinty has revealed how the loss of his uncle last month is helping drive his bid for glory at the Irish Elite Championships.
The 18-year-old St Johnston man will meet Dean Walsh in Friday’s welterweight final at the National Stadium after wins over Ross Boyle and Peter Carr on the last two weekends.
McGinty is in his first ever Elite Championships and is boxing without headgear for the first time – but the Oakleaf ABC puncher impressively defeated Carr on Saturday night to reach the final.
The delight was evident but so, too, was the emotion etched upon the flame-haired fighter.
Three weeks ago today his uncle, Joe Toland, passed away. The wake was held in McGinty’s house and while he briefly considered withdrawing from the Elites, he soldiered on.
“That was a tough time for us. I was training away through the wake and everything,” he said.
“A lot of people would have pulled out and, I have to be honest, I considered it myself.[adrotate group=”70″]
“But I know now that that man is up there now looking down on me every step of the way. He’d have wanted me to enter and hopefully I’ve done him proud so far.”
All five judges sided with McGinty on Saturday night as he took control against Crumlin ABC’s Carr.
The eight-time Irish champion showed just why he’s so highly regarded within the Irish High Performance Unit in a matured, composed display.
A Leaving Certificate student at Deele College in Raphoe, McGinty is also in the middle of his mock exams this week.
He said: “It’s hard enough entering the Elite Championships without doing exams on top of it, but my preparation was good and I felt good.
“I’ll take a lot of confidence out of this. I had a good win after a poor performance last week, but that’s two wins in two weeks.
“It was a solid performance, one of my better ones. I have more to improve on, but getting the win was all that mattered.”
- Brett McGinty is one of the guests on tonight’s episode of Donegal Sports Talk, available on this website from 9pm