Oakleaf ABC coach Eugene O’Kane junior feels that ‘the old Brett McGinty’ is back in the groove again.
McGinty booked a place in the Irish Elite middleweight final on Saturday night when he defeated Kelyn Cassidy from Waterford at the National Stadium.
After defeats to Dean Walsh in last year’s Irish Elite final and to Aidan Walsh in the Ulster Elite final, McGinty’s corner don’t want to countenance another reversal.
McGinty has moved up to middleweight for these Championships and O’Kane sees something stirring again.
“Now, he’s very comfortable and he’s very strong,” O’Kane said.
“It was killing him to make 69kgs, but now you can see that the old Brett McGinty is back and hopefully it’ll be a third time lucky in the final.
“He was very good, calm, relaxed and composed in the semi. He kept his head and made no mistakes. He was comfortable.”
In last year’s welterweight final, McGinty missed out against Dean Walsh and a frustrating nine minutes ensued against Aidan Walsh at the Ulster Hall.
McGinty has had to come of age since.
O’Kane said: “The last six weeks we’ve been in camp and I’ve been drumming into him: ‘You have to grow up. You can’t keep losing the head in the ring’.
“When you lose your head, you lose your focus and the whole thing goes out the window. You’ll end up getting caught with silly shots when that happens.
“Keeping focus was so important for him. It was about keeping the head if he did get caught and he did that.”
Standing across the squared circle from McGinty on Saturday night will be former three-time European champion Michael Nevin from Portlaoise.
The classy Nevin is undefeated on Irish canvas in almost two years.
The last man to have his hand raised against him was McGinty in their U18 welterweight semi-final in April 2016.
O’Kane said: “Michael Nevin is a three-time European gold medalist and he’s a top class boxer. But if we get the tactics right, hopefully we can go down the road with the title.”