Chelmsford’s Tom McGinley (5-1) will challenge Duane Winters (10-1) for his Southern Area super-bantamweight title on September 22 at the UWE Exhibition and Conference Centre in Filton, Bristol.
The 31-year-old British Challenge belt champion will head to the West Country on the same night that heavyweight kingpin Anthony Joshua fills Wembley Stadium for the second time against Alexander Povetkin.
‘Micro Machine’ McGinley, trained by Russ Smith at the Champions Gym, will occupy the away corner in the titleholder’s back yard to try to succeed where stablemate and former victim Martin Hillman failed.
Sidcup’s Hillman lost by a single point against the ‘Gasman’ on July 6, scored at 97-96 by referee Martin Williams, despite his team believing he had done enough to win the vacant belt, last held by Commonwealth title contender Matthew Chanda (7-1).
Similarly to his forthcoming opponent, McGinley has also defeated Hillman – 77-75 on points in his last fight in a thrilling eight-round featherweight contest in Maidstone which saw the warring pair both give their all in a fight of the year contender.
The recently married Essex puncher outworked the more experienced opponent in his home county of Kent, stating afterwards, “Fitness and heart won me that title. I took the fight as the underdog in the away corner and my trainer had the tactics spot on.”
With McGinley busy organising his wedding after that captivating contest, Hillman managed to get ahead of his conqueror in the queue for the Southern Area title shot, but now the married man finally gets his chance next.
“Sets it up for a good fight doesn’t it because we’ve both beat Hillman and he [Winters] didn’t want to fight me in the first place,” claimed McGinley. “I like the thought of it being in his home town and I like the hostility of the crowd from the away corner.”
Manager Joe Elfidh managed to secure the Southern Area shot for Hillman with McGinley lined up as the mandatory defence for the winner.
With just an unlicensed background to draw experience from, winning 13 from 14 bouts, the southpaw is oozing with confidence despite not initially believing he could make it to this level.
“I always said if I got to level where I could challenge for this title then I’ve achieved what I set out to in boxing, but now I’m even looking past this for more. If I can get this belt then look to the next chapter, I’m 31 now so haven’t got years and years left, so I aim to push myself to the limit. Back then, the Southern Area was almost a bit of a pipe dream but now I’ve got even higher ambitions.”
McGinley has already begun his training camp having had news of the title shot midway through June.
“I started training two weeks back but it only last night [August 1st] that the fight was announced, so I’m well into training camp already. I’ve been sparring [undefeated featherweight] Zaiphan Morris already and got a few lads in our gym that are turning over soon that are available for sparring.”
McGinley lost in his debut fight back in June 2016 after receiving several cuts to both eyes, but has since reeled off five straight wins, culminating in a first-round knockout of debutant Kieran Holman in October last year and the most recent win to land the Challenge belt against three-time Southern Area title contender Hillman.
Despite now having higher ambitions, his eyes are fully on the prize when he enters the lion’s den in Bristol against the champion on September 22.
“This fight is huge for me, I mean huge! I’ll be giving the next seven weeks preparation everything I have and I’ll be bringing that belt back to Essex with me.”