Exclusive Interview With Oisin Fagan - "I Have To Make It My Kind Of Fight."
04.11.08 - by James Slater - 34-year-old Irishman Oisin "Gael Force" Fagan meets the returning Amir Khan on December 6th in London. Many experts felt Khan would pick an easy opponent to return against after what happened to him last time out against Breidis Prescott. However, the 22-5(13) Fagan is in no way an easy touch and for taking this fight Khan and his team should be applauded.
Article posted on 05.11.2008
Oisin is as tough and full of heart as can be, and he says he fights with a real passion felt towards his fellow Irishmen and women. It's true, Fagan is not the biggest of names - or, as he readily admits, the biggest of punchers - but he is without a doubt a "live" and dangerous underdog..
Very kindly taking time out from training to speak with this writer earlier today, Oisin had the following answers to my over-the-phone questions. Speaking from his home in Ireland, the 34-year-old had the following answers to my questions.
James Slater: I appreciate your time, Oisin. Firstly, how has training been going for the Khan fight, who have you been/will you be sparring with?
Oisin Fagan: I'm in the gym every day. I guess you could call me a fitness fanatic. I'll be going to Breen's gym in Belfast soon. I'll be sparring with some of the lads up there - Kevin O'Hara and some other fellas, and I'll be working with Eamonn Magee.
J.S: What type of fight do you expect on December 6th?
O.F: It depends on how tentative Khan is. I've got my game-plan and I'm going to try and make it my fight. I think they think I'm kind of just there to make up the numbers, but they've picked the wrong person if they think that! I'm often underestimated though. I'm often the underdog. But that suits me, because that way there's no added pressure on me, you know? I've seen what Khan can bring, and he's brilliant with his speed and he has the fundamentals with all his amateur pedigree. I know I won't be able to take his traits away from him, so I have to make it my kind of fight. I have to get in close and put the pressure on him.
J.S: How do you rate your own power? What is your best asset in the ring, sheer pressure and work-rate?
O.F: I'm the first to admit I'm not a big KO specialist. The opponents I have stopped, they went from the pressure and folded. I'm a tough fighter, I think I can give myself that (laughs). But I've picked up new skills recently, and I think you can teach an old dog new tricks. I was shit to begin with, as I had hardly any amateur fights. I'm looking forward to showing my skills in the fight. I don't think they'll have seen much info on me, or studied me, because there's no tapes of me. There's nothing of me on YouTube, and I want to keep it that way (laughs). The less they know about me the better. This fight came at the perfect time for me. I've been looking for work since the last school year ended (Oisin is a P.E teacher outside of boxing) and now I can really focus and put all my efforts towards this fight.
J.S: Some people in the know give you a great chance of upsetting Khan. If you win he will be all but finished, kind of like Audley Harrison, who lost back-to-back fights. Have they made a mistake in taking you on?
O.F: I think they have. But I'm not intending to go out and end his career. I don't want to do that. I want to win, but that's all. He's a nice guy by all accounts. There's no animosity there at all. This is a big fight, one of my biggest. By the way, can I just mention my old promoter, Stacy Goodson. He was my promoter in the States. He helped me along to this point. He's a big advocate for bringing awareness to Autism and I hope he's succesful in a vision to find a cure.
J.S: Khan says he will be a much better fight with new trainer Freddie Roach. Your thoughts?
O.F: I think he has to be better working with such a good coach as Freddie Roach. He'll learn so many new things with him. But, you can't put muscles on a chin. If you're chinny, you're chinny, it's as simple as that. All you can really do is try to strengthen the muscles around the neck, but I'm not sure that does much good really.
J.S: In a way you are more experienced than Khan at pro level, having been in with former world champions like Paul Spadafora.
O.F: Yeah, you could say that. But of course he has that great amateur pedigree whereas I don't. But I've fought in front of huge crowds before and I have been in front of hostile crowds. When I fought Julio Cesar Chavez Junior at he MGM Grand in Las Vegas (losing a 4-round decision) the place was full of Mexican fellas (laughs). Every time he threw a punch, even if it missed, they cheered. But when I landed a punch you could of heard a pin drop. I won't get nervous with the atmosphere.
J.S: Talking about your fight with Spadafora, do you think you won it? Stacy Goodson says you did.
O.F: It was close. People have told me I won by a point or it was a draw. I think I won by two points, but maybe I'm a little biased (laughs).
J.S: Is the Khan fight your biggest fight yet?
O.F: Well, it's definitely one of my biggest fights. I'm looking to win and then all the talk will be about me and what I'm going to do next, instead of the talk being about him again.
J.S: I've taken up enough of your time, Oisin. It's been a pleasure speaking with you. Best of luck for December 6th.
O.F: Okay, thanks a lot.
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