British MMA star Jack McGann is switching codes as he trades his MMA gloves for boxing gloves, with a deal with promoter Frank Warren reportedly imminent.
Liverpudlian McGann was touted as one of British MMA’s hottest young prospects a few years back, and has competed on the big stage in Europe, both for British promotion BAMMA and Russian-based Eurasia Fight Nights and Fight Nights Global.
But despite compiling an impressive 11-5 record and a reputation as one of the slickest MMA strikers to come from these shores, McGann has decided to switch sports and turn his attention to professional boxing.
The 24-year-old is set to sign a deal with renowned British boxing promoter Frank Warren, and says his time working with high-level boxers during sparring for his MMA bouts has stood him in good stead for his impending switch.
“I’m used to sparring world-class boxers, I’ve been doing that weekly for years, so it always intrigued me, switching codes,” he explained, before saying he’s looking forward to following in the steps of Irish superstar Conor McGregor by stepping from MMA into boxing.
“McGregor really opened the door in terms of the potential for fighters to switch codes,” he said.
“I’ve been fighting in Russia for a couple of years against their top-level guys. So, I am used to testing myself at the most extreme levels.”
“I am confident he can make a smooth transition into professional boxing.” – Frank Warren
It’s expected that McGann will sign with Warren in a deal that will see his boxing career kick-start at the six-round level as he bids to rise up the ranks and fight his way into championship contention.
‘The Pilgrim’ already has his British Boxing Board of Control licence approved pending medicals, and Warren’s partner broadcaster BoxNation looks all set to show McGann’s bouts on its UK-based boxing channel.
Hopes are high that McGann will step through the ropes for his first bout in the first quarter of this year, with Warren explaining how excited he is to be working with the young prospect.
“I’m looking forward to working with Jack,” he said.
“His MMA record speaks for itself. Eleven wins, all by knockout, and 10 of those coming in the first round. He clearly possesses power in both hands.
“I’ve been very impressed with what I’ve seen of his career and I am confident he can make a smooth transition into professional boxing.
“Jack has already taken on some big names in the world of mixed martial arts and, with the right guidance, he can make an even bigger impact in the boxing ring.”
With significant combat sports experience already under his belt – and still only 24 years of age – McGann’s transition from the cage to the ring will make for fascinating viewing for fans of both MMA and boxing.
And ‘The Pilgrim’ is looking forward to following in McGregor’s footsteps as he tries his hand at ‘The Sweet Science’.
“McGregor showed the world of MMA where the real fortunes lie, it’s in professional boxing,” said McGann.
“His fight with Mayweather was too big a jump for the great Irishman. I don’t think he’s finished yet with boxing, anyway.
“He showed the way and I will follow.”
Who’s backing Jack?
“I had the chance to call one of Jack’s MMA fights earlier this year. One of the biggest things I noticed straight away was just what elite striking and crisp boxing he had, particularly straight shots.
“I’ve no doubt he could transition straight away into the upper echelon of that discipline as he did in mixed martial arts. Best of luck, Jack. I’ll be watching.”
Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir
“Jack McGann is one of the cleanest strikers I have ever seen. He has an unbelievable ability to control the range. He has devastating knockout power in both hands.”
Conor McGregor’s striking coach Owen Roddy
“Great news for our Jack, switching from MMA to pro boxing. It’s an exciting transition and I am excited for him as a friend, and also to see him come out of his corner.”
Actor Tom Hardy