Irish boxer Jamie Kavanagh is ready to make his professional debut at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night on the undercard of the WBA light welterweight title fight between Amir Khan and Paulie Malignaggi.
Kavanagh was able to weigh in after the Amir Khan/ Paulie Malignaggi face off turned into a mini riot after a melee broke out between camps, but the young Irishman was unscathed as he observed the chaos that ensued for a few minutes.
“Preparation couldn’t have been better. We were in Khan’s camp and then he went to Vancouver. Then I was training with my buddy Dean Byrne and Jose Benavidez,” Kavanagh told IrishCentral.
“I have been having great sparring with Dean and a few other lads. We have done a load of sparring and I got the rounds in that I needed.”
Kavanagh will be fighting William Ware (1-2, 1 ko) in a four round contest, and he is prepared for whatever the Tennessee native has in store for him.
“I’ve seen his record and I know he has one win, two losses, one win by knockout, but come tomorrow record or no record it will be down to business.”
Kavanagh weighed in Friday at 139.5 pounds and his opponent weighed in at 141 pounds.
The 19-year-old Dubliner, who spent a number of years growing up in Spain and speaks fluent Spanish, has noticed a few differences in the way Roach has guided him since turning pro.
“Freddie likes to work the angles on the pads and in boxing and likes to keep close and use angles up and down the body. He is showing me how to sit down more on the punches, not like the amateurs, and make the shots count.
“I am ready to go. I have been training for this for a long time. I have been in the States a long time, sorting out contracts and visas and training.”
Though busy with the main event, trainer Freddie Roach will work in the corner with Kavanagh on fight night and is happy with how the young Irishman’s training camp went.
“He has been at my gym for the past six weeks and he has been doing well. He is a good young prospect," he said at the final press conference on Wednesday.
“I didn’t get to spend as much time as I would have liked with him because I was in Vancouver with Amir (Khan), so he worked with his coach from Spain and we communicated with each other every day. He is in great shape.”
Kavanagh recently signed a promotional agreement with Golden Boy Promotions and CEO Richard Schaefer was delighted to net the Irish prospect.
“He is a diamond in the rough. There are a lot of young good fighters but very rarely do you have the guys with the background and the story as well. The fact that he is Irish and also he speaks fluent Spanish!
“We had our matchmakers and Oscar De La Hoya take a look at some of his amateur fights, and they very much liked what they saw and said ‘let’s sign this kid.’ And obviously he came with Freddie’s full endorsement, and that means a lot.”
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore