Shaun Ireland and George Rhodes Jnr Q&A special

Two of Scarborough’s young boxing hopefuls are gearing up to dip their toes in the professional game for the first time in the coming months.

By Daniel Gregory
Thursday, 12th March 2015, 3:14 pm
Scarborough boxers George Rhodes Jnr (left) and Shaun Ireland (right) chat with sports reporter Daniel Gregory
Scarborough boxers George Rhodes Jnr (left) and Shaun Ireland (right) chat with sports reporter Daniel Gregory

Shaun Ireland and George Rhodes Jnr have decided to take the plunge and test themselves as professional boxers, and they visited The Scarborough News to discuss all things boxing.

DG: It’s great news that you’re both turning professional at the same time. Will that benefit you?

SI: Yes it will. We’ve been good mates for a while now, I started at 12 and George was there before me.

Sign up to our daily The Scarborough News Today newsletter

GR: It’s brilliant. I was at the club when it was known as Eastfield Boxing Club. We’ve been good mates and have some good tales to tell. If we make it big time and I need some money I’ll have to sell my stories on Shaun to the tabloids.

DG: What’s your prediction for each other going forward?

SI: I think he’ll do very well. I’ve known him a long time and he has the ability to do it.

GR: He can definitely go all the way. He’s boxed semi-professional in Germany and his style is suited to the professional game. He’ll do very well, I’ve never seen him get outclassed before.

Shaun Ireland (left) and George Rhodes Jnr

DG: What is your dream fight in your weight division?

SI: I’d love a good domestic tear-up with Josh Warrington or Lee Selby. I’d probably edge for Selby for a world title.

GR: There are some massive names in the welterweight division, it would have to be between Manny Pacquaio and Floyd Mayweather Jnr. I’ll go with Pacquaio.

DG: How far do you think you can get in the sport?

Rhodes Jnr would love a dream fight with Manny Pacquiao (above)

SI: I’m not sure. I don’t want to start thinking about fighting for British, European or World titles, it’s a long way off. I just want to take it one fight at a time.

GR: Very much like Shaun, I just want to take it fight-by-fight and see how far I can get.

DG: What will be your music for the ring walk?

SI: Dizzie Rascal’s Fix Up Look Sharp, I’ve always had that one for Westway shows, it gets me going.

Undefeated boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather Jnr (above) is Ireland's favourite current boxer

GR: I’m not 100 per cent sure on that one yet. Maybe The Fratellis’ Chelsea Dagger or it’s been mentioned to come out to a Scarborough fog horn then going into music.

DG: What are your strengths and weaknesses in the ring?

SI: There aren’t many weaknesses (laughs). I would say my speed and my footwork are my strengths, as well as my dancing, and maybe that my hands come down a bit after an attack at the moment would be the weakness, but I’m working on that.

GR: My weaknesses would be pretty similar to Shaun’s really, I’m working on my defence when I come away from an attack. Fitness, workrate and hand speed would be my strengths.

DG: Who is your favourite boxer, both current and of all time?

SI: Good question. I think currently it has to be Floyd Mayweather Jnr. I just love his style, he’s a superb boxer. My favourite boxer of all time is Mike Tyson.

GR: This is another tough question. I’d have to put Paul Ingle up there with the best of them.

For a Scarborough lad to go and achieve what he did is just a phenomenal effort. There are a few names up there though.

DG: What is the best fight you’ve seen?

SI: There are so many to choose from. Obviously there’s the Arturo Gatti v Micky Ward battles and the Marco Antonio Barrera against Erik Morales series. If I had to plump for one it would be Gatti and Ward’s first fight.

GR: I’m going to have to say Tommy Coyle v Daniel Brizuela. I love watching Ricky Hatton’s fight against Kostya Tszyu. Coyle v Brizuela wins it for me, me and Shaun were there and we had our coats on a few times, we were ready to leave.

It was just a great fight.