Pat McAleese feels TJ Rowland can be as effective in the boxing ring as he is on a rugby pitch when appearing at his white collar fight night.
Tough-tackling Newmarket rugby player Rowland is to be one of a small but select band of fighters set to represent white collar promoter, and trainer, McAleese at his sell-out show at the Granary Barns in Wood Ditton on Saturday.
Although the 21-year-old — who is now in the Navy — has only taken up the sport in recent weeks, McAleese has been impressed with what he has seen so far.
“TJ is a big strong lad who is very keen and fit and has lots of things in his favour,” said McAleese. “He loves the fitness side of things, but he uses his jab well and throws big follow up shots as well which many struggle to do at this level.”
While this weekend’s bout for Rowland will be his first foray into the boxing for fellow fighter Richard Strike, it will represent somewhat of a recovery mission having been out battled in a title contest on McAleese’s show back in September.
“Richard has been training hard and we have done lots of sparring with him,” said McAleese. “The defeat seems to have given him a kick he needed as it is the hardest I have seen him train.
“Because he was backing off last time, we have been helping him to come forward a lot more and be a bit more aggressive. The change has worked well in sparring we now just have to see if makes a big difference in the ring.”
While of the belief that both Rowland and Strike can master their opponents at the weekend, McAleese also has high hopes for another white collar debutant.
“Shaun is like a little pocket rocket,” said McAleese. “He keeps himself in shape so is proper fit, but he is so explosive it is ridiculous as his hands are that quick.
“He is very game and definitely one to keep an eye on.
“There are a few that have tough fights but that is what it makes it worthwhile as people don’t want to pay to see one sided contests.”
Boxing commences on Saturday at 6pm.