22 December 2008
PETE MCDONAGH was quick to pay tribute to his days of boxing as an amateur at Bermondsey's Fisher ABC club after his impressive victory over Lee Purdy on Saturday night.
McDonagh even entered the ring sporting his old Fisher vest, to the surprise of old coach Steve Hiser.
Hiser, who brought four of his young boxers to Brentwood to cheer on his former protégé, was as surprised as he was proud by the gesture.
"It felt fantastic, especially with him having the Fisher vest on," said Hiser. "He didn't tell me he was going to do that."
After his victory, McDonagh revealed that he had been sparring with some of the youngsters at Fisher to sharpen his skills in the lead-up to the fight.
"He sparred for about 25 rounds," Hiser confirmed. "He didn't want to come out of the ring. The boys absolutely loved it.
"He said he would come down and train with us again. I think he thinks he can learn a thing or two from the lads!"
McDonagh began training with Fisher as a boy, more than twenty years ago, and Hiser thinks that what he learnt at the club helped him to upset the odds against Purdy.
"He was up on his toes and boxing and that's exactly what we teach them. They say when you turn pro you have to change but I don't believe in that.
"The other feller was trying to have a punch-up but he stayed on his toes and taught him a lesson."
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