• Dexter Hastings

Young Unbeaten Pro Boxer Antonio Counihan

Young Unbeaten Pro Boxer Antonio Counihan

Antonio Counihan is a 25 year old lightweight professional boxer from Birmingham. The 5 foot 10 orthodox boxer had an excellent amateur career of 80 fights with 64 wins. As an amateur Antonio became JABA national champion, GB gold medalist, Lagan box cup bronze medalist, Haringey box cup gold medalist and also Toronto box cup gold medalist. Antonio was also a team GB member for 2 and a half years and was England Captain and represented England and Great Britain 25 times.

Antonio has an even better professional record, he has had 8 fights 8 wins 6 of them coming by the way of knock out. The young boxer fights out of Eastside gym and is trained by his dad Paul “Soggy” Counihan and his brother Louie Counihan.

I asked Antonio who is his favourite boxer? He told me “It was Oscar de la Hoya when I was

growing up, just loved his style, now it's got to be Vaysl Lemonchenko, he’s an unbelievable fighter”.

When asked about his favorite fight he has seen he informed me “It has got to be the Gatti v Ward fights, but I love the comeback in the Diego Corrales v Jose Luis Castillo”.

Antonio has boxed since he was 10, so has been boxing for 15 years, he told me he started boxing because his dad was a boxer and all his uncles boxed

I then asked Antonio what was his hardest fight? He replied “my hardest fight would have to be when I was an amateur and I boxed for Great Britain in India against there number 1, it was a close fight but very tough. I Lost by 2 points”.

I contacted his dad and trainer Paul "Soggy" Counihan for what he thought of his young fighter, Paul was not short of words and told me “Antonio started boxing at 10 he had 80 amateur fights wining 66, wining ABA titles, British titles and box cups around the world, he boxed for England over 20 times and was captain on many occasions, he successfully joined team GB boxing team in 2009, among his many Triumphs he beat the world champion Ray Moylett in a England V Ireland match in Dublin. In the senior ABAS 2012 he boxed Sam Maxwell also on team GB at 60kg in the quarters, in Sam’s home town Liverpool. The bout was even on the score cards after the final bell 12-12 and Sam got the nod on count back system 16/15, Antonio was gutted as he thought he did enough to win it!

Sam went on to win the ABAS that year, and Antonio wanted revenge. He knew Sam would be entering the Harringey box cup a couple of months later, so Antonio put him self in the mix. They both met in the final with the whole crowd watching this one as who ever wins would most likely get picked to go to the next Olympic qualifier for London 2012. Antonio boxed class picking Maxwell apart and got the decision with ease. Antonio joy didn't last long as they picked Sam Maxwell to go to the qualifier,

Antonio was devastated and wanted to turn pro. He’d had enough of the amateur politics and after speaking with several top promoters and mangers we decided the best deal was to sign with Frank Maloney as he came up with the best plan and had sky sports at the time. After signing with Frank he was due to make his professional debut live on Skysports 3 weeks later, once his brain scan had been cleared. He sold 300 tickets, I was asking Maloney for more tickets when the bombshell drop, we got a call from the boxing board to say Antonio had failed a brain scan, there was a tiny shadow on his brain and he couldn't box until we found out what it was. After thousands of pounds of scans and two to three years we found out it's a birthmark. It was long over due him turning pro he is now had 8 pro fights wining all 8 and 6 of them by knock out. He is ready for titles now and will be looking to step him up in the near future.

Dexter’s Thoughts

Antonio has got a great amateur career behind him fighting all over the world representing England and being part of team GB. These attributes are a great thing to be able to put on an boxers CV and will boost there chances of signing with a big promoter. These don't always lead to success but are seen as a great foundation to build a good career on. Antonio has started his career off with 8 straight wins with 6 KO’s you can’t ask for anymore off the young boxer. With the boxing pedigree of his family and a Eastside gym behind him I can see success and belts in Antonio’s future. I look forward to reporting on Antonio very soon.