Crumlin’s Aiden ‘Aido’ Metcalfe enters the pro ranks with good pedigree, good backing, and a promise to entertain.
The super featherweight was a decorated underage boxer and competed well at Elite Senior level, even as a teenager. Now aged 22, Metcalfe enters the pros and is ready to put on good showings from the off and stand out from the unprecedented throngs of new additions to the Irish paid ranks.
The Dubliner has linked up with Leonard Gunning and Crumlin B.C. graduate Stephen Sharpe at Boxing Ireland Promotions and will debut on the ‘Celtic Clash 3’ card at the National Stadium on September 9th. The night is headlined by a BUI Celtic featherweight title fight between former amateur star and RTÉ pundit Eric Donovan and Welsh champion Dai Davies, with Metcalfe being one of a number of debutants set to feature on what will be the biggest show in Irish boxing history.
Sharpe states that “there has been a lot of excitement regarding the decision of Aiden Metcalfe to turn professional. We’re delighted to have such a talented lad on board. Aiden is looking fitter and stronger everyday, roll on Celtic Clash 3. With plenty of amateur experience the Crumlin puncher will be an entertaining addition to Irish professional boxing.”
The move isn’t one of natural progression, indeed it has come somewhat out of nowhere. Metcalfe, who competed at the 2016 Intermediates and saw a semi-pro fight in February fall through, had stepped away from boxing – however the opportunity to return and become a fully fledged professional was too good to turn down.
“I gave it [boxing] up for a few months,” he explains. “I just thought there was nothing left for me in the amateurs, so when I got the offer [to turn pro] I took it. It was something I always wanted to do as a kid, since I joined boxing.”
Metcalfe should become an instant fan favourite, promising “one thing is for sure – I’m never in a boring fight. When you see me fight you’re always guaranteed a good show. I reckon the pro game will suit me.”
Metcalfe will be trained in the pros by Sean Carton at the All Saints Gym in Kimmage, formerly having fought out of Phil Sutcliffe’s famous Crumlin club. Another Crumlin boxer, lightweight Martin Quinn, trains alongside him here and is another who will debut on the ‘Celtic Clash 3’ card.
Deep in rigorous preparations for September 9th, the Dubliner describes how “training’s going good. I need to get the ring rust off me, I’ve my fitness to work on.”
Metcalfe has Irish title ambitions, however he wisely does not want to look past fight number one, outlining how “I just want to get my debut out of the way, that’s the focus at the minute. Long-term I’m looking towards getting that Irish belt in 2018, but my debut is the main focus now. This year I’ve to get a few fights, a few wins under my belt and then next year I’ll look at a title shot, hopefully. I reckon I’ll go far in the pro game.”
A grounded young fighter, Metcalfe is focused fully on his pro debut and is delighted that it will be at the scene of his greatest amateur triumphs – The National Stadium on Dublin’s South Circular Road. He details how “I won a few things as an amateur – Dublins, Leinsters, All Ireland’s. It’s like home to me.”
Metcalfe’s ‘homecoming’ will be Headlined by the Donovan-Davies title fight, and the ‘Celtic Clash 3: Building Champions’ card also features Stephen McAfee, Martin Quinn, Regan Buckley, Keane McMahon, Dylan McDonagh, Colin O’Donovan, Chris Mullally, Michael Gallagher, Niall O’Connor, Gerard Whitehouse, Bernard Roe, John Joyce, and Carl McDonald.
Tickets for the show cost €30 (Balcony), €40 (Gallery), €60 (Ringside), €100 (VIP Premium), and €15 (Under-15s gallery – must be bought alongside an adult ticket) and are available to buy from Aiden at 086 2454 350 or online at Ticketmaster.ie.