Erin McGowan – “Winning the WIBA title means everything to me”

LAST week, Erin McGowan solidified her place as one of the best Australian female fighters of her generation, earning a second legitimate world title with a clear cut decision over Arlene Blencowe at the Italian Club in Perth.

McGowan, 33, earned the title in unique circumstances by ousting an opponent in Blencowe (now 2-4) who allegedly weighed in almost two divisions higher than her. In spite of this, the fight went ahead as McGowan (now 17-2, 9 KOs) was eager to capture the vacant WIBA lightweight strap, regardless of weight.

“Winning the WIBA title means everything to me,” said McGowan in an exclusive interview with Aus-Boxing. “Winning a well respected title against a well established world class fighter is definitely a tick off my bucket list in terms of top life achievements.”

The fight headlined another terrific local bill put together by leading West Australian promotional outfit CDL Promotions. The Blencowe fight was the second time McGowan had been crowned on a card promoted by CDL Promotions, with McGowan also winning her WBO lightweight title against Lyndsey Scragg on one of their cards in 2010.

McGowan was full of praise for Ty Colman and David Letizia – the men behind CDL Promotions – who worked tirelessly to secure the lucrative title opportunity for McGowan.

“The relationship I have with CDL Promotions is extremely important. Having the advantage of fighting for the world title at home is massive,” McGowan explained. “After having tough experiences with fighting for world titles overseas, it’s a comforting feeling to have the support of my family, friends and fans at home.”

“In terms of the role they have played in my career, I’ve always had their support and go into a fight knowing it’s going to be a good, fair decision for both fighters.”

Going into their scheduled ten round fight, McGowan was always wary of the threat pose by Blencowe, given her recent title fight in the US, which was fought two divisions above at welterweight.

“Coming down in weight, I expected Arlene to be a big strong fighter that works off a good defence,” McGowan added. “In terms of tools she will bring to the fight, I thought it would be her strength, power, speed and big heart.”

Blencowe showed plenty of heart and determination to stay in the contest, even with a large deficit going against her for the entirety of the fight. She fought to the end and received applause from the full house in attendance for her spirited effort.

A fight camp can at times be arduous and repetitive, but McGowan was quick to praise her enthusiastic team, not only for their time but their contribution to her winning performance.

“So let’s start with my trainer, Ruben the Cuban, who has gone through eight weeks of intense, hardcore training with me and the odd tantrum here and there,” McGowan joked.

“Justin Lacey, former Olympian and my second in corner. He has massive experience with the Australian boxing team which works perfect with my game plan for this fight.”

“I also have Luke Corderoy, at Elcord Building who is my main sponsor, without his financial support I could never have trained for this fight. Shamron Mason and Adam Forsyth, former champion fighters for their mentoring, understanding and keeping me tough.”

McGowan’s road to a second world title was never easy. She faced back-to-back losses in 2011 and 2012, lead by a questionable decision loss to Monica Silvina Acosta in Argentina, while also falling in seven to the big-punching Delfine Persoon.

This is why McGowan’s recent success is bittersweet. She attributes her steady rise and return to boxing to her fans, which in her opinion, are the leading light in her professional career.

“Last but not least my amazing fan base,” McGowan said in closing. “Without these guys I would never exist as a fighter.”

With an active year effectively finished and a world title belt added to her collection, you could say that this year has been kind to Erin McGowan.

Photo: Damo Photography



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