Philip Sutcliffe Jnr made a welcome return to the ring recently and manager Pat Magee has big plans for his young charge. The veteran Belfast manager who guided Brian Magee to world-level success and also handled Kiko Martinez at a time is using his expertise to handle the careers of Sutcliffe Jnr and cruiserweight Tommy McCarthy. Sutcliffe enjoyed a one-sided four-round points win over gallant Scottish southpaw Martin McCord in Dublin’s Red Cow venue on September 12 and was delighted to be back in business following a layoff.

“Considering it was nearly 11 months out of the ring it all went well,” said Sutcliffe. “I felt that I needed the rounds with it being my first fight back but I could’ve stopped the lad in the first, second or third. I waited to put the pressure on and enjoyed myself. I just wanted to get the hang of things again as I’ve only sparred a handful of times so the rounds did me good. The lad took a few hard shots and I wouldn’t say that I put too much pressure on him either.”

Phil also dabbled with the southpaw stance in a bid to rediscover the flexibility that only good quality ring time can provide.

“I was getting loose again and getting used to being back in the ring – the whole lot,” he said. “Considering the class of my opponent I was just trying to watch his head. He hung in there and took three counts. The first one was a bit soft but he hung in and showed that he’s a tough lad. Pat has me down for October on a show in London somewhere but it doesn’t matter, I’ll fight anywhere and I just want to keep busy and active.”

One issue that could cause concern was Sutcliffe wincing in discomfort as his gloves were being removed. Hopefully it was nothing more than a hazard of the job and not a recurrence of the hand problems that have previously threatened to derail his progress.

Top boxing journalist Kevin Byrne of the Irish Sun later tweeted:


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