“This is my chance to really show the world what I’m made of,” said professional boxer “Irish” Seanie Monaghan, 32, after he released a barrage of jabs in front of a mirror at the Freeport PAL last week.
A few minutes later, the light heavyweight stepped into the ring for his last sparring session before the most important fight of his career.
Monaghan (18-0, 11 knockouts) will defend his WBC Continental Americas belt on Saturday in a 10-round bout against Anthony Caputo-Smith at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Not only is it Monaghan’s Las Vegas debut, but also his first fight to air live on HBO Pay Per View, as the undercard of the Timothy Bradley-Juan Manuel Marquez world welterweight title fight.
“I’ve been a big New York ticket seller for the past three years, and this is my first chance to really make my escape from New York,” Monaghan said. “The whole world is going to be watching this one. It’s a big fight for me.”
Ever since the former bricklayer from the West End turned pro in 2010, and with 18 fights in less than three years, he has taken the boxing world by storm, an “exciting” fighter who attracts large crowds, said his manager, P.J. Kavanagh.
“He has that natural power,” Kavanagh said. “His defensive skills have gotten much better, so it makes him come forward with his aggressive style even more. Caputo-Smith is a tough guy; he’s rugged, and he’ll try to make a dogfight out of it. But Seanie is a much better boxer, and he’s capable of mixing it up with any fighter.”
The World Boxing Association currently ranks Monaghan the 10th in the world among light heavyweights, and he is No. 11 in the International Boxing Federation. In June he signed with Las Vegas-based Top Rank, which promotes many top boxers, including Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez. Monaghan said that the agreement marked an important step in his career, and he is hoping that Saturday’s fight will showcase his skills to a broader audience.
“I’m just a couple of steps away from being a world champion right now,” he said. “My goal was always to become a world champion.”
An indefatigable spirit