Pitch Perfect Bout!
Wednesday 30th December 2015 @ 12:46 by Mark Phillip
Football Sports

Former Stalybridge Celtic and Hyde midfielder Matthew Mainwaring won his first professional boxing match earlier this month.

The 25-year-old described the winning feeling as the best moment of his life.

Mainwaring defeated Victor Edagha on points after four rounds of their bout at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.

The former Stockport County and Hull player swapped the pitch for the ring in November 2014.

Upon announcing his decision last year, Matty told Reporter Sport: “I’ve kicked a football since I could walk and been a pro for seven years.

“It’s so difficult to make it professionally in any sport these days, especially football, so when I did, I was aware of the privileged position I was in.

Having first kicked a ball at a tender age, the budding star made his way to Manchester United, then further afield to Preston North End, before finally settling in at Stockport County.

Mainwaring holds fond memories of his spell at Edgeley Park. He added: “My most memorable period has to be my debut season as a pro.

“I was fast tracked into the first team at 18 years old and playing regularly in league one under Jim Gannon at Stockport County.

“I think I made 22 appearances, was awarded young player of the year and got a call up to republic of Ireland U19’s”.

Mainwaring suffered a traumatic leg break during a pre-season friendly against Grimsby in 2009. “I suffered a horrific double leg break and literally had to learn to walk again” he said.

“This has taught me not to be afraid of any challenge and made me realise that there’s nothing that can’t be overcome with graft and determination.”

Having been trained by former undefeated European Welterweight Champion, Matthew Hatton, Mainwaring seems destined for future success. He said: “Both football and boxing require high levels of fitness, but with football you can have a day off and the team can still win.

“In boxing it’s different. If you cut corners in training, you will be exposed on fight night as you only have yourself to rely on.

“The training I’m undertaking for boxing is very different to football, but I have to be honest, I feel completely at home in the ring and have never felt as alive!”

Despite being a relatively new figure in the ring, Mainwaring wasn’t daunted by the prospect of the fight. He admitted: “I wasn’t particularly daunted by the fight to be honest.

“I was relishing the opportunity to show what I could do in the ring, and thankfully I came out on top.”

matty 4

Despite taking the plaudits on the evening, Mainwaring’s task of succeeding was made much harder in the second round. He added: “I clashes heads with my opponent in the second round and came off worse.

“A fair bit of blood was pouring around my eye, so my visibility was reduced from that point onwards.

“I was just hoping that the referee wouldn’t stop the fight because of it.”

Mainwaring maintained that such unfortunate incidences are just part of the job. “It was disappointing to be cut in the early stages of the fight, but these things happen” he said.

“The important thing is to maintain your focus, and thankfully I was able to achieve that.”

Buoyed by a crowd of family, friends and former football team mates, Mainwaring has nothing but respect for the continuous support they’ve shown. He said: “The fans were absolutely super on the evening, and they certainly give you that extra boost when you’re in the ring.”

Despite enjoying a few weeks of rest over the Christmas period, Mainwaring is looking ahead to 2016. He concluded: “I’ll be having a few weeks off to recover and recuperate, but I honestly can’t wait to get back in the ring and make my mark in 2016.”