Stephen McAfee, left, with his coach Jonathan Lewins

STEPHEN McAfee hopes to turn fully professional after the Sallynoggin native became the Irish semi-professional welterweight champion with a recent points victory over Karl Kelly at Blackrock Rugby Club in Stradbrook.
And it is part of a concerted effort from the multi-talented McAfee to push in a singular direction. Indeed, the 25-year-old could write a book with the amount of titles he has won over the years in both boxing and kickboxing.
Seven belts currently take residence throughout his house and McAfee has now turned his attention to making a name for himself on the pro boxing scene.
Kickboxing was the first of the two to take his attention but, after winning nearly everything there is to win in the sport, boxing came onto his radar.
Possibly a wise choice considering the fighter feels more comfortable using his hands than he does his feet.
“With the kickboxing, I wasn’t a big kicker,” McAfee told GazetteSport. “My weapons were my hands because it feels more natural to me. Even when I was kickboxing, people used to say they could tell I was a boxer.”
Belief and self-confidence are vital to a boxer if they are to succeed and McAfee is lucky enough to have both in spades – something that surely comes from years of winning.
The win over Kelly was the first time he has boxed for eight rounds, and it was evident in his slow start to the bout.
However, his talent eventually shone through as he stuck to his game plan, despite losing the first two rounds, and got back into the fight.
“That was my first time in an eight-round fight so I was doubting myself beforehand. I was asked to do it and I wouldn’t turn an opportunity down so I said yes. I started slow but after the second or third round I started to feel I was grand so I put the foot down.
“Even when the bell went at the end of the third round, I felt I could have gone on for another couple of rounds.”
McAfee has a couple of options on the table in terms of turning professional but he wants to make sure it is a right fit before making a commitment one way or another.
“There are two or three options there at the moment that I am looking at with my coach Jonathan Lewins but I want to see what contracts they have attached to them because I don’t want to sign myself down to a big contract in case something goes wrong. Especially with how it is nowadays,” McAfee concluded.
McAfee hopes to have himself on a fully professional card as early as June as he looks to build a name for himself in the sweet science.


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