Dennis McCann wasn’t a big fan of school. Whilst most 11-year-olds were sitting their 11 plus exams, the unbeaten bantamweight was lugging slates around and shimmying up and down ladders as a roofer’s labourer. Still only 19 years old, McCann has aced his first nine months as a professional boxer.
“I give myself 10 out of 10. An A Star,” ‘Dennis The Menace’ told 32Red. “I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong just yet have I? What would you give me?” For all the latest fight odds, visit our sportsbook.
McCann (5-0, 4KO’s) has earned his grade. His nine national amateur titles ensured he entered professional boxing with a reputation to live up to and a startling debut threw petrol on the hype. Since then McCann’s corkscrew uppercuts, unusual angles and cheeky persona have kept interest and excitement high. Naseem Hamed recently Facetimed him to wish him well and Tyson Fury has marked him out as one to watch. McCann is a naturally confident character but the speed at which things have moved has even taken him aback slightly.
“I am surprised to be honest. I knew my ability and that I was capable but it’s alright saying something, you have to be able to do it don’t you?” he said. “I train very hard. If I keep doing what I’m doing – delivering knockouts and showing the fans what they want to see – then it’ll keep happening won’t it? The only way that won’t happen is if I take my foot off the pedal and I won’t do that. I’m very disciplined.”
The discipline is paying off. McCann is at the point of his career where training doesn’t feel like hard work and he is seeing a result for every single sacrifice. He is also beginning to feel the benefits of a full time training routine. Naturally lithe and sinewy, McCann has begun to fill out and is starting to feel the ‘man strength’ that can only come with time.
“100%. In this camp, everybody I’ve hit I’ve wobbled them. I hit a kid the other day behind the ear and he did the chicken dance. He told me he was taking paracetamol for a headache. To be honest, I do try to take people’s heads off sometimes. I’m not the nicest person to spar, that’s why I struggle to get sparring partners sometimes. I’m quite a respectful sparrer but it’s quite hard to take it easy on somebody. If I wobble them really badly I won’t try and take them out though. If I hurt them I’ll just take a step back. It’s disrespectful otherwise.
“I have a few things I want to work on. I watch my own fights every single day. I drive my girlfriend mad but I’m always watching and I notice different things all the time. I’ve been working on my defence more but to be honest I’ve been working on lots. I was watching my last fight the other day. I boxed alright but I was a little bit tired. I’d had too many camps too fast and I felt it towards the end.
“It takes its toll on your body. I’ve had the bright lights and all the pressure on me constantly and it does take its toll. I still got the win though.”
You don’t need to stretch the imagination too far to picture an excitable McCann commentating on his own fights.
“Yeah. Of course I do.”
McCann isn’t the type of character to stay still for long and in the middle of a whirlwind few months he also decided to get engaged. His fiancee, Kathleen, will be in charge of wedding plans whilst McCann prepares himself for a busy period in the ring but he is already beginning to notice that from now on things are going to be different. He might not be willing to give any ground in the gym or ring but he is going to have to learn a bit of give and take at home.
“It’s been a bit of a mad one. Don’t say too much though, she’s sitting here beside me now. It’s been everything I expected. She’s done very well hasn’t she?” he said to laughs from Kathleen.
“After my wedding I won’t go on honeymoon straight away. I’m going to get married and wait until after my fight in April. The next day we’ll go on honeymoon. Kathleen would rather go straight away but she’s got no choice.”
“No, seriously, she doesn’t mind. She enjoys the boxing and she knows the game because her brothers used to fight. She hasn’t been to watch me yet. I don’t like letting her go because I don’t like getting distracted but she’s going to this fight and hopefully on April 11th if I fight on the Dubois v Joyce card.
“I’m getting married, there’s nothing I can say now is there?”