McCue puts un­beaten record on the line

He’ll go up against Mponda Kalunga in Bramp­ton

The Peterborough Examiner - - SPORTS - MIKE DAVIES EX­AM­INER SPORTS DIREC­TOR [email protected]­ter­bor­ough­daily.com

Jor­dan McCue is risk­ing his un­beaten pro­fes­sional box­ing record in what his trainer calls a 50-50 fight on Satur­day.

McCue, 27, of Curve Lake, is 3-0 with one knock­out since turn­ing pro in Au­gust 2018 fol­low­ing a lengthy am­a­teur ca­reer. He will face Mponda Kalunga in a six-round su­per mid­dleweight bout on a United Box­ing Pro­mo­tions show at the CAA Cen­tre in Bramp­ton.

Kalunga, 30, who was born in Egypt but now lives in Toronto, has a 6-2 record with three knock­outs. Both his losses were by knock­out.

The card will fea­ture for­mer world ti­tle chal­lenger Bran­don (Bad Boy) Cook and un­beaten light­weight Josh (Dubs) O’Reilly (15-0) and Mo­hammed Feroze Abe­deen (10-1-1) in an NABA ti­tle fight.

McCue knows Kalunga well. They’ve sparred in the past while pre­par­ing for other bouts.

“I’m fa­mil­iar with his style and how he’s go­ing to face me so I can adapt ac­cord­ingly,” said McCue, who had to take some time off after his last win on April 6 in Oshawa to let an in­jury to his nose heal. Kalunga’s last fight was a knock­out win over Ken­ton Hess (3-2-0) at the CAA Cen­tre in Septem­ber.

McCue said Kalunga is a step up from his pre­vi­ous op­po­nents.

“This guy is a pretty slick boxer,” he said. “He knows how to weather the storm so I’m not go­ing to take him lightly. He is a step up in com­pe­ti­tion but I’m here to fight the guys who are up high in the rank­ings to prove my­self.”

McCue has pre­pared ac­cord­ingly.

“I feel like I’m in the best shape of my life for this fight. I know what kind of style he’s go­ing to throw at me,” he said. “I’ve been train­ing twice a day some­times seven days a week. I feel great and ready to get in there and get the job done. I plan to get a win against this guy and open up more op­por­tu­ni­ties and show that I am a true con­tender in the level of pro­fes­sional box­ing in Canada.”

Kerry Hen­dren, founder of Scrap­yard Box­ing Club at Ge­orge and Char­lotte streets and McCue’s man­ager and trainer, said Kalunga is a good test.

“He’s an up-and-comer and is train­ing with re­ally good guys,” said Hen­dren.

“He is su­per good on his feet and is re­ally hard to catch. A pos­i­tive thing is we trained with the kid to help him for his last fight. He’s the kind of guy who if you let him box we’re in big trou­ble. If we can cut the ring off and take it to him, then he’s in big trou­ble.”

Hen­dren said he ex­pects Kalunga to be on his feet so they asked for a six-round bout to give McCue more time to track him down.

Hen­dren said the op­por­tu­nity to fight on a high cal­i­bre card and pos­si­bly earn fur­ther fights with United Box­ing Pro­mo­tions, which has run reg­u­lar shows in On­tario since 2008, mostly in the GTA, makes it worth a step up in com­pe­ti­tion so early in McCue’s pro ca­reer.

“It’s a 50-50 fight but, hon­estly, if we can’t beat this guy we’re probably not go­ing to be a world cham­pion,” said Hen­dren. “I truly don’t be­lieve in pick­ing ev­ery one of your fights. You have to step up to the plate at some point. After train­ing with the kid I don’t think he poses a threat of knock­ing Jor­dan out. It’s truly a clash of styles.” McCue hopes to im­press United Box­ing Pro­mo­tions owner Tyler Bux­ton.

“If that opens up a bunch of other op­por­tu­ni­ties with him I’ll be ready for it,” said McCue.

Tick­ets are avail­able at the CAA Cen­tre box of­fice or on­line at www.tick­et­mas­ter.ca

CLIF­FORD SKARSTEDT EX­AM­INER

Coach Al Wil­son looks on as boxer Jor­dan McCue, left, spars with Mike Do­herty in prepa­ra­tion for his bout Nov. 16 in Bramp­ton at the Scrap­yard Box­ing Club.

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