THE rookie pro Michael McGurk has earned an invitation to train with Celtic after winning his first professional fight in just 21 seconds.
The Glaswegian stopped Matt Seawright, a veteran of almost 100 fights, with a stinging left hook and revealed his performance was also a knockout with Neil Lennon, the Celtic manager. "Neil Lennon told me he'd been impressed and that I could come down to Celtic Park and train with them," said the 19-year-old. "I'm a Celtic fan and something like that is a great confidence booster for me to keep working hard."
McGurk is looking for a new sponsor to help take his fledgling career to the next level. "I am training full-time at the moment but it's hard because you don't make much money," he said. "I've got one sponsor but that only really paid for my medical bill. If I want to stay full-time I need to get a few more. I really think going full-time helped as I'm in the best shape I've ever been. I've been away with Scotland and done training camps with them in the past but being full-time means you can do extra sessions every day and that makes an unbelievable difference."
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McGurk's debut came at the St Andrew's Sporting Club's 41st annual Burns Night on Monday and he was delighted to make his debut on such a big occasion. His promoter, Tommy Gilmour, has him contracted to fight six times this year with the next one taking place on 28th February.
McGurk said: "I was absolutely buzzing. It's hard to get a better debut than that. I took a day off then I was back in yesterday. Tommy wants to keep me busy this year and I just want to keep working hard and get a few wins under my belt."
Gilmour has high hopes for McGurk and wants to help the youngster build up a good record before he begins challenging for titles. "I was amazed at Matt Seawright getting stopped because that doesn't normally happen," said the promoter. "He's one of the old-style survivors but Michael caught him with a cracking punch. He was a highly talented amateur fighter and he's a young boy that's going to have big things happen over the next few years.