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Stirring debut victory leads to offer Celtic fan McGurk could not refuse

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."

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.

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