What has the made the New York-area boxer so popular with local fans is the game, raw excitement he brings to the table each time out. By the same token, Monaghan has said he is “working on becoming a more complete fighter rather than a one-dimensional brawler.” While he won’t be accused of being the fanciest fighter working today, he is in great condition and is very rugged and tough. Coming to boxing late, Monaghan had a short amateur career to get his feet wet and then started punching for pay four years ago. While he knows he doesn’t have the wealth of amateur experience to draw upon, he believes in himself, works hard and is always learning. Monaghan has also worked his way into the top-10 in the International Boxing Federation’s (IBF) ratings and will see his stock rise throughout the year with each win as he pursues a title shot.
If tough guy McCreedy possesses a fraction of the heart and toughness of his trainer, Micky Ward, he could be cause for a few headaches. In a recent interview, Ward stated, “If Joe wants to win, he has to get inside and let his hands go. He can’t let Monaghan get off first as he’s very strong.” Monaghan knows that while he is raw and largely untested, he is making waves with his exciting, crowd-pleasing style and if he keeps winning, good things will happen
The bout’s magnitude, on a card with stars as big as you’ll get in Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao and unbeaten World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion Timothy Bradley, is also not lost on underdog McCreedy. He knows a win opens up all kinds of doors for him. He also clearly knows who is the undefeated ticket seller, being fast-tracked for a longer-range plan after this bout - and it isn’t him. In a recent interview, he said, “It’s like a punch in the face. They probably expect me to last four or five rounds,” said McCreedy. “Being an underdog gives you so much to prove to people. It will be an amazing fight.” But he is also facing a fighter with world title aspirations in Monaghan, who realizes he must get by every challenge at this stage in order to get that elusive title shot.
Monaghan recently stated, “I’m number six in the IBF [light heavyweight] rankings and I want to see them put me in there with someone people don’t think I can beat. Show me the money. I’m looking to get a title shot sometime soon. I want to be a world champion,” he said. “That’s my goal and dream.”
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