By Dan Emicus

05/30/13

 "I think I'm pretty close to where I should be at this stage. I've got a great team and fan base behind me both in Australia and Ireland and I'm still undefeated. The full time training has given me the opportunity to perfect my boxing skills and get into the best possible shape. I know that there are big things to come before 2013 is out."

DE: How did you get into boxing and what made you decide that it was the right time to turn pro?

PM: My father got me into boxing when I was about 8 or 9 years old. I was a shy kid and it was the perfect sport to bring me out of my shell. 
I had had a two year break from boxing before I started training with Gareth Williams at The Boxing Shop in Brisbane. When I returned to the sport I had a few good wins as an amateur but the lack of fights on the horizon enticed me to give the professional game a shot.

DE: Aside from the different attires, what would would you say are the biggest differences between amateur and professional boxing?

PM: I'd have to say the longer duration fights. I don't fight with as high a tempo that I did as an amateur due to fighting more rounds. My biggest hurdle in the transition was learning to sit down more on my punches rather than bouncing on my toes which takes a lot out of the legs in longer fights. I really enjoy fighting without headgear as I feel my vision is improved and I can see a lot more of my opponent.

DE: What in all do you think it will take in order for you to achieve your potential as a pro?

PM: As with every professional sportsperson the key to achieving your potential is training full time. If you can dedicate yourself 100% to your chosen sport you give yourself the best opportunity to excel. At present I'm blessed to work for a great company, Kenny Constructions who have been throughly supportive in helping achieve my goals.

DE: Given that you were born in Northern Ireland, how did you come to fight out of Australia?

PM: I left Northern Ireland for Australia in January '09 for a change of scenery and took to enjoying the finer things in life. I'm a carpenter by trade so my main aim was to find work and enjoy myself in a fantastic country. I fell in love with Australia and soon put plans in place to extend my visa. I knew deep down that one day I would return to the ring and when I settled in Brisbane, I met Gareth Williams through a fellow Irishman PJ Freehill and the rest is history.

DE: What convinced you that signing with Hatton Promotions was the right move with regards to your development as a fighter and progress in your career?

PM: I haven't actually signed a contract although I have been lucky enough to fight on a Hatton Promotions card in Hong Kong and a co-promoted card in Brisbane. Ricky is great guy who is always keen to offer boxing advice and is very fun to be around. He's a real character and I hope to appear on future promotions.

DE: For those who are yet to see you fight, how would you describe your style?

PM: As an amateur my style was to hit and move. I've got a great reach so that style was suited to the amateur scoring. With the different scoring in the pro game I like to be more aggressive whilst still being evasive and hard to hit. I'm working on a lot of new things in my current training camp and they will be on show in my next fight which will be my first pro fight in Ireland.

DE: What inspires you to be the best you can in boxing?

PM: My family and friends are my inspiration. They have always been fully supportive of my decisions in life and knowing that I can make them proud gives me the desire to succeed.

DE: Last time out you beat Alex Ah Tong for the WBF Asia Pacific title won and every round on the judge's scorecards. Were you happy with your performance and do you believe that this title could represent a springboard of sorts for this stage of your career?

PM: Alex was a late replacement and I had no southpaw sparring in the build up because of this. I was really happy with my conditioning as I felt great after the 10 rounds but my footwork was a bit erratic on the night. I was a bit put off by the southpaw style but I landed enough shots to win the rounds and my second title.

DE: You've now been a professional for 2 years. You've won 2 titles, successfully negotiated a 10 rounds distance, and you're surging in the Australian rankings. Do you feel that you are roughly where you should be at this stage of your career? Are you content with your overall progress and do you feel that there's a lot more to come having become a full-time boxer in recent months?

PM: I'm reasonably happy with my progress to date. I'd like to have another few fights on my record but a broken hand last year set me back a bit. I think I'm pretty close to where I should be at this stage. I've got a great team and fan base behind me both in Australia and Ireland and I'm still undefeated. The full time training has given me the opportunity to perfect my boxing skills and get into the best possible shape. I know that there are big things to come before 2013 is out.

DE: There are numerous good fighters who are either from or based in Australia in your weight division, including Naoufel Ben Rabeh, Gairy St Clair, Samuel Colomban, and Leonardo Zappavigna. Obviously at this juncture these guys have years of experience on you, but do you look forward to testing yourself against these types of opponents in due course?

PM: Boxing is all about testing yourself. I'm patiently climbing the ladder and certainly with more fights under my belt I will be looking for bigger names in Australia and abroad.

DE: What do you feel is the next step logical step in your career? Are there any goals you wish to accomplish within x time, or is it primarily a case of learning as much as possible at this stage?

PM: I have a lot to learn, but I feel that I can continue my boxing apprenticeship whilst taking steps towards more titles. I'd love to win an Irish and an Australian title in the future. I have no timeline in mind, but each fight takes me closer to achieving these goals.

DE: Any interests or avid pursuits outside of boxing?

PM: I'm an avid sports fan. I watch a lot of rugby, soccer, Aussie rules football whilst keeping up to date with Gaelic football from home.

DE: Final words?

PM: I'd like to thank everyone at The Boxing Shop, Guru Sports Performance, Ace Sports Medicine, King Sports and Kenny Constructions for helping me get to where I am today. I'm very grateful to all my family, friends and supporters who are behind me every step of the way. 

I'm privileged to have such great support and I'll try my best to repay the faith that everyone has shown in me.


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