Switching from MMA to boxing Jack McGann is just weeks away from one of the most important fights of his career as he makes his boxing debut on the undercard of Tyson Fury’s lng-awaited comeback fight at the Manchester Arena on June 9.
A 16-fight mixed martial arts veteran with a reputation as one of the hardest hitters on Russian MMA promotion EFN’s books, has an 11-5 record during his time in the former Soviet state. But the Liverpudlian has opted to put his MMA career on ice to test himself on one of the biggest stages, travelling back home to a thriving British boxing scene with his sights set on securing a belt.
BBN spoke with Jack, trained by the 'One Man Riot' Alex Matvienko at the Elite Gym in Bolton with Conor McGregor cornerman Owen Roddy also in his camp, ahead of his paid punching debut.
Jack is looking to make a big statement in boxing and succed where Conor McGregor coud not. This is the first for BBN to feature an MMA-turned-boxer in their acclaimed Debut Corner feature - enjoy!
What has made you want to cross over into boxing?
“A lot of things really, I have wanted to do it for a long time, I have competed in all types of combat sports - kick boxing, Thai boxing, wrestling competitions, so I have done most areas except boxing and it’s the one I’m actually best at! During preparation for my MMA fights, I was sparring with boxers, just boxing, some high-level boxers and the way I faired with them I almost felt I can hang in there with top boxers.
I’m not done with MMA, but I am just boxing at the moment.”
When you were growing up were you more interested in boxing than other disciplines?
“I always enjoyed all forms, but, like I say, boxing is the only one I have not competed in.
Growing up in and around MMA striking gyms, we always had top boxing coaches coming in for sessions so I was always trained by amateur boxing coaches so, naturally, I have a boxing style, but I have never competed in any boxing event.”
Is this a full-time crossover providing you have success or will you plan to go between both sports?
“I don’t know how it would work going between the two but at the timebeing my head is fully engaged with the boxing. I have 16 professional MMA fights behind me with 10 of my 11 wins coming by KO. I have been on big shows in Russia so I’ve got enough MMA experience to go and play darts for two years and go back to MMA!
For now, I’m going to box and it’s going to go well, we will see what happens down the line but for the foreseeable future, I’m boxing.”
What team do you have around you?
“At the minute, I’m with Alex Matvienko at the Elite Boxing up in Bolton, I’ve also got Owen Roddy helping me out, but there’s a lot of good people around me at the moment.”
How will a MMA background benefit you, crossing over into boxing?
“The thing people don’t always realise is that in a boxing match it’s a little bit more straight-forward, I have fought against a variety of different people who move in different ways, some people who are into kicking, long range, then the next one is so different. So, because the dynamic in range is so different in MMA I think this will transfer over well as I have fought at so many different ranges.”
What sort of fighting style do you have?
“My fighting style combines big punches and a workhorse mentality, I always set a good pace in fights, I box orthodox and I don’t switch.”
What ambitions do you have for your pro boxing career?
“I want to win world titles, I’m not just here on a flash in the pan publicity thing, whatever I set myself on I go for it 100%. This isn’t just a one-off, I’m in this for the long haul!
I believe I'll show that I am doing this with big intentions, my first fight is on a Frank Warren card and it’s against a tough opponent in Dwain Grant, it’s also a six-rounder.
I want to have three fights this year and move onto challenging for belts next year.”
When is your first fight and who will be there in support?
“My debut is on the Tyson Fury card in Manchester on Saturday 9th June.
There will be loads of support, the thing is, because I haven’t fought in England in two-and-a-half-years due to fighting over in Russia a lot I haven’t had many come to watch me, so it’s going to be great to have all my family, friends and supporters there.”
Jack’s Sponsors include GYM KING and LOVE HEMP WATER