For a man who came into the paid ranks to make it work, it all depends on how you measure success. Michael Mooney 9-75-2, 3 KO’s is a man who lost his first professional bout but interviewed afterwards was clear that this was a move he had made, into professional boxing which was designed to pay more than dividends. He had a plan and a future with boxing helping to provide for it. It showed admirable honesty.
“I want to make a living from boxing,” he said in that interview.
Now, one of the major issues right now for most boxers is not just when the boxing will get back on but in what shape shall it be and what type of fights will dominate. Is there going to be a place for the likes of journeymen? WE can all believe that the types of audiences that see their work in a professional ring tend to be akin to boxing behind closed doors, but we need them, and we need to see them survive this. In that same interview, Mooney elaborated as to why he wanted to make this all work for him, “I have got a son, Byron, and I want to make his life better by making money for him. I have done well in the amateurs and I decided I wanted to go professional and put Worcester on the map for boxing.”
Getting fights on a regular basis puts regular money in the bank account and food on the table. It might not always lead to some form of glory as he found out when he was up against Sean Davis in December 2018 when the Hockley Hurricane and former English and WBC international super bantamweight champion beat him on a Sunday night dinner show at the Holiday Inn, in Birmingham.
The testimony of his opponent was enough to highlight just how valuable the likes of Mooney are to the fight game as Worcester’s “Mad Man” Mooney, got the following praise from the man who took every round in the fight when he said afterwards, “I’ve known Michael Mooney for a long time and he will give anyone a hard night. He’s a good, tough lad and it was about finding out where I’m at, really.”
Mooney, having made his debut in 2013 took until his fourth fight before notching a win and it was against the notable journeyman Joe Beeden. Since that time he has been in the ring with some notable names and also some decent fighters in Scotland as we have seen him test and push some emerging fighters that are beginning, now, to make a name for themselves.
In 2014 he beat our very own Eddie Doyle in Paisley, after Doyle’s team threw in the towel in the third! It was also the year he was in Sheffield to test Atif Shafiq, back in Paisley to take Ronnie Clark to a 6 round decision, back to Sheffield to manage 4 rounds with Jordan Gill, before , in 2015, getting 6 rounds in Liverpool with Thomas Stalker, in 2018 having 6 rounds with Scott Cardle in Cardiff, and managing to visit Scotland 3 times in 2019. In January he took Eddie Doyle, in a rematch to 8 rounds in Bellshill for 8 rounds before losing on points. He then was stopped in the first minute of the first round, in Bellshill in April against Regan Glackin. His final appearance north of the border was in September when he took on Andy Tham in the Radisson Blu in Glasgow, losing over 4 rounds.
Mooney might not be seeking the type of glory any more that a bright eyed amateur kid who looks up at the likes of Champions and thinks, that could be me. He might have the honesty to realise that paydays are greater than glitz and glamour but we are about to rebuild a society that learns from what we have discovered in adversity, perhaps we can rebuild the sport with an eye on supporting the key workers that have given so much unrecognised by many, the journeymen.