McAfee impresses to put Irish title in sight

by James Hendicott
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Stephen McAfee notched up another win in his fledgling and ever more impressive super featherweight boxing career at Good Counsel over the weekend, getting the better of Polish fighter Damian Lawniczak in a points decision over six rounds.

The Sallynoggin man was widely fancied to win the fight in advance, and ultimately played with Lawniczak a little in order to gain some ring time, before comfortably overcoming his challenge by a 59-54 decision.

“I put him down towards the end of the first round and to tell you the truth, I could probably have finished him then,” McAfee told the Dublin Gazette.

“I decided to let him get back up and recover and get some time in the ring. I think it’s important to get that experience. I’ve been looking at the footage and I tend to be critical of myself. I can see a few areas that I can work on, as well as what I did well, so I’ll be focusing on that.”

McAfee now holds a 4(2)-0-1 record, including his BUI Celtic super featherweight title win over Colin O’Donovan in March of this year, and is looking a likely candidate to progress further, including with an Irish title fight touted as a possibility after his latest win.

“I don’t look beyond the next fight, really,” McAfee told us. “I wanted to make sure I landed punches well, that I was accurate and I worked the face and the body.

“That variety is really important. I can work on my movement, I saw in the video that I leant in a bit at times and that’s really disappointing. But I’ll learn from it, and time the next fight so I’m in peak condition.”

McAfee isn’t sure what comes next just yet, but is likely to hold off fighting until October or so.

“I’m going to take a holiday and then I should have a date for it when I come back,” he says of future plans. It might be a title fight but there’s something else that might be worth looking at, too. I trust my coaching team, they’ll make the right choice, and I’ll just fight whoever’s in front of me.”

McAfee is being cagey on the specifics, then, with the details yet to be confirmed, but if he keeps winning, great opportunities are almost inevitably on the horizon.

“I’m not really thinking beyond a next fight, but there’s no reason I couldn’t go further, go oversea or across the pond. We’ll take it as it comes,” he explains.

“I’m in good shape and feeling good about how things are going. I’ll keep doing my thing, mixing things up and working on making an impact on whoever I’m up against. My shot selection’s coming on and I’ll be ready for whoever’s next, for sure.”

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