Jack Maguire: ‘My Brother turned me over to the dark side’
21 year old mixed martial artist Jack Maguire is readying himself for a significant September.
The Cork combatant will compete at the IMMAA European trials at BattleZone on September 3 in Dublin.
Two weeks later Maguire will fight David Howlin at the Real Fighting Championship in Derry.
Maguire was due to fight for the vacant featherweight BattleZone title until another opportunity arose.
He explained: “They gave me a chance to go for the title but instead I went for the trials. Hopefully if I win on the night I get sent to Prague and represent Ireland in the Europeans.
“I think for myself it would be better to get an experience like that. The belt would have been nice but I’m happy I made that decision.”
The affable fighter described the upcoming trial format where a place in the MMA European Amateur Championships is the prize.
“In my division there are a few other fighters so you might have to have two or three fights on the night to qualify,” he told Fightstore Media.
“I weigh in on the day and then they make the brackets because someone mightn’t make weight. We find out who we will be fighting on the night. We know who is in our division but we could get matched with anyone.”
Older brother Arann helped inspire the exhilarating journey Maguire is experiencing.
When Arann Maguire began MMA, the sport was still in the shadows of popular culture.
Jack recalls: “I thought my brother was a bit of a cowboy for starting it all those times ago. I was looking at him and I was happy playing soccer.
“I thought he was crazy and there was something wrong with him. I’d say the whole family did as well. Nowadays it’s after blowing up and definitely taken the world by storm.”
How has the Maguire family dealt with the siblings joining, as Jack termed it, the “dark side”?
“They went through the hardships of it with my older brother with all the fights and the weight cuts. They weren’t really sure how to deal with that.
He added: “My younger brother started and then the whole family were doing it so I think they had no other choice but to get on with it. They’re alright with it now; the first hurdle was my older brother. Once they understood what was going on they were fine with everyone else.”
We asked Maguire his thoughts on MMA potentially replacing boxing as the world’s leading combat sport.
“Boxing is huge and will always be huge but MMA is the new craze so everyone is mad into it. The hype around it is more than the hype around boxing. It’s just new and current so everyone has caught up on the bandwagon really,” answered Maguire.
What are the benefits of training in mixed martial arts?
“Don’t get me wrong training is extremely tough, sometimes you think God why am I going up training. But there’s always a reason why you’re in the gym and dragging yourself back.
“It helps big time outside the gym in terms of confidence and just holding yourself. I’m a much better person now than what I was,” articulated Maguire.
Every fighter gets nervous. But not every combatant is honest about pre-fight anxiety.
Jack Maguire gave a transparent account of dealing with nervous energy.
“I get nervous before fights. Nerves hit me strong alright, the day of the fight even the night before a fight. But nerves are good, it keeps me on my toes, I always expect my opponent to be a tough fight.
“It’s never going to be an easy fight because anything can happen. That’s why there are nerves because I know so much can go wrong in such a short amount of time.
“Once the fight starts and a punch or kick is thrown I’m normally ok then and that’s the same with everyone really.”
Irish MMA enthusiasts will soon be seeing a lot of Maguire as he also competes at Cage Legacy in Drogheda against Davy Murphy in October.
Maguire stressed that he is “confident” and “looking forward” to being featured in three back to back events.
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