Interview with Sean Monaghan: “I would gladly fight any one of these guys if I could”
By: Matthew N. Becher
Sean Monaghan is an undefeated (26-0 16KO) light heavyweight based out of Long Beach, New York. He is ranked within the top 10 of all 4 major sanctioning bodies divisional rankings and looks to take another step closer to his ultimate goal of a title shot live from the famous Theatre at Madison Square Garden on Saturday February 27th when he takes on Finnish fighter Janne Forsman (21-3) on the Crawford vs. Lundy Undercard.
A huge New York fan favorite, this will be Monahan’s 8th time fighting at the Garden. Luckily he was gracious enough to take some time away from his busy training schedule and speak with us over at BoxingInsider.com
Boxing Insider: So what do you know about your next opponent Janne Forsman, who will be fighting outside his native country of Finland for the first time?
Sean Monaghan: He’s got a bunch of videos on YouTube. He’s a cruiserweight, and I don’t know much about him personally, but I know I can’t afford any bumps in the road, I can’t afford to take this guy lightly and have a problem on my hands. I’ve been training full force, like I’m training for a world title as usual. Nobody really knows who this guy is. He has nothing to lose, he’s gonna come in and swing for the fences and try and get lucky. All the pressure is on me, to look good and really show that I’m a couple levels above this guy.
Boxing Insider: Do you find it hard to find suitable opponents for you?
Sean Monaghan: You know, to be honest, it seems that all the top guys in my weight class seem to be with Al Haymon now. And Top Rank and Al Haymon don’t do business. I would love to fight Fonfara, or Adonis Stevenson, or Chavez Jr. All the big name fighters are with other promoters and it’s just how the boxing business is. They want their own fighting their own. With me, I’m ranked in the top five, but Top Rank doesn’t have any other guys for me to fight. We tried to make the German thing happen (Juergen Braehmer), but that guy just gets to fight whoever he wants. It’s not like he’s looking for a lot of big challenges.
Boxing Insider: Like you said you are ranked in the top of the division by every sanctioning body. How long can it be before you can get a title shot?
Sean Monaghan: I kind of just go with the flow of who Top Rank gives me. It can be frustrating, because I can’t make these guys at other camps fight me. It’s really frustrating when I go on Twitter and I get these trolls saying “you’re scared of Adonis or you’re scared of that guy”, and I’m like you fucking idiots have no idea how the boxing business works. I would gladly fight any one of these guys if I could. Unfortunately it’s just not the way it is right now. Even the ranking systems, the logical thing that a boxing fan would assume would be, if you are ranked in the top 5, if I’m the number 4 ranked guy, you would think I would fight the number 3 guy and the winner would move up a spot, but that’s just not how it works. I’m kind of at a loss. It’s very frustrating, I’ve been climbing the ladder for so long, and now I’m kind of just frozen at a spot.
Boxing Insider: You are 34 and right now is kind of your time to get these big fights. You got a late start into the sport. What were you doing before you were boxing?
Sean Monaghan: I was just fighting, but not in the boxing ring. I was a knucklehead kid. I really had no direction in life, I barely graduated high school, I was doing odd jobs, doing construction and stuff. The town I grew up in is a bar town, and I just grew up in the bar scene. I was working at a bar since I was 14. That was just the culture around here. I’ve been in more bar fights then I could even remember. I started getting pretty good at it, knocking guys out, getting a reputation for myself, then I got arrested. I got in pretty big trouble for a fight. So a friend of mine says “why don’t you try boxing for real, you’re always knocking everybody out, why not try it in a ring”. I was always a huge boxing fan, when I was a kid, my uncles and dad would wake me up late at night to watch Mike Tyson in the 80s. I never really thought of actually boxing myself, we didn’t have any boxing gyms around growing up in my town. When I finally got arrested my best friend, bobby, found a boxing gym about 15-20 miles away and I started going there and still go there, fifteen years later.
Boxing Insider: So you just transitioned from street brawler to professional boxer?
Sean Monaghan: Totally changed my life, because I was going down the wrong path and getting myself in trouble. I dabbled in all types of sports as a kid, but I never really liked it. Even now I’m not into watching other sports. But boxing was always that one sport that stuck out to me. Once I got into the actual gym, I just fell in love with it. I saw and knew how much work it would take to get good at it, and ever since I’ve just been obsessed about it and became a work horse. I’m always analyzing what I can do better, I’m constantly exercising to get myself better. I work out like 5-6 hours a day.
Boxing Insider: What do you see happening for Sean Monaghan in 2016?
Sean Monaghan: It’s hard to say, I’m in a pretty bummed out mood right now, because I came so close to getting a title shot and that didn’t happen. So that took the wind out of my sails right now, and I’m being a bit pessimistic. I do know that if I keep on winning and I’m undefeated something has to happen. I’m one of the biggest ticket sellers in New York. I’m ranked #4 by the WBA, I’m undefeated. So logic would say that something would have to happen. I know Top Rank has a good relationship with Main Events, so possibly me and Kovalev in the Garden, which would make sense to me.