James Cahill is well used to chopping down all that stands in front of him which should stand him in good stead ahead of his pro boxing debut next month.
A tree surgeon by day and a boxer by night, the hard-working Wicklow youngster has made the big decision to become a professional boxer, and will make his debut next month in Dublin. The 19-year-old will fight for the first time on Saturday, September 9 on ‘Celtic Clash 3’ at the National Stadium. The show is headlined by a BUI Celtic featherweight title fight between former amateur star and RTÉ pundit Eric Donovan and Welsh champion Dai Davies, but there is a lot of anticipation for the debut of the Bray boxer on the undercard.
An aggressive welterweight with a knockout punch, Cahill is being tipped by his management team at Boxing Ireland Promotions as one to watch
Deep into his first pro camp at St Teresa’s Boxing Club in Bray under Mark Buckley, Cahill is loving pro life and described how “it’s going deadly. Work is flying, fitness is up, power is up. Mark has a good aul’ programme going. I train in the evenings, straight after work. I’m feeling very fit and strong, training’s a lot harder than in the amateurs.”
While he is yet to throw a pro punch, Cahill has already been marked out as a fighter that is well suited to the rigours of professional boxing. The teenager believes he adapting quickly and stated that “I’m adjusting to the pro game very well. I’m working a lot on the power and just trying to switch the style up. Amateur is a lot different to the pros. If you’re going to rely on power shots, you’re not going to get much, it’s a bit of everything. I’m a mixer, I like to do it all.”
Cahill is teammates with flyweight Regan Buckley, son of trainer Mark, who also appears on the ‘Celtic Clash 3’ card in one of the show’s main fights – a six-round grudge match with Tallaght’s Carl McDonald. The pair work and learn off each other, and Cahill notes how “training beside Regan is definitely a help – he’s always driving me on and we’re always helping each other out well.”
With just under four weeks to go until fight night, Cahill can feel the Bray buzz building ahead of his pro bow, and he is promising to entertain his already large following. He added that “you can expect a good exciting fight. The support from the community is super, I’m after getting some sponsors from around the community and there will definitely be a massive crowd.”
A fighter hungry for challenges, Cahill last year featured on the inaugural Semi-Pro Boxing Ireland show, taking and winning a fight on the intermediary platform at late notice. While the 6 x 2-minute rounds fight was good preparation for his move to the pros, it also shows Cahill’s willingness to be challenged. One of the youngest fighters on the booming Irish pro scene, the St Killian’s graduate has no fear.
Indeed, the search for a test is perhaps the main reason that Cahill has turned pro in the first place, and the precocious teenager explained how “I just wanted a change and to try something new. I’m dying mad to go pro, I’ve been boxing amateur for a good few years and had a good few fights and been away a good few times, I’ve a bit of experience. I’ve boxed some of the best lads in Ireland, I’ve done it all. I just got sick of it really, the amateurs, the pros looks bigger, bigger atmosphere, it looks good, I’ll enjoy it a lot more Semi Pro has prepared me for the pros well.”
“I hope to get a couple of fights under my belt and, hopefully, then go for the Irish title and see where it goes from there. I just want to do the best I can, get the first three fights out of the way and see where we are then”
Headlined by the Donovan-Davies title fight, the ‘Celtic Clash 3: Building Champions’ card also features Stephen McAfee, Martin Quinn, Regan Buckley, Colin O’Donovan, Chris Mullally, Michael Gallagher, Niall O’Connor, Gerard Whitehouse, Bernard Roe, John Joyce, and Carl McDonald.
Tickets for the show cost €30 (Balcony), €40 (Gallery), €60 (Ringside), €100 (VIP Premium), and €15 (Under-15s gallery – must be bought alongside an adult ticket) and are available to buy from James at 083 810 7064 or online at Ticketmaster.ie.