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After 12 laps on Friday, Macaulay McGowan finished fourth in the father’s race

His PLAN was initially to remove himself from his father’s race by claiming injury. A leg, an arm, a head, anything will do. Indeed, one look at his face, still traumatized from Friday night’s fight, and it would be hard for the most competitive parent not to sympathize with Macaulay McGowan and let him stay.

However, McGowan’s problem was that his daughter, Florence, who had also already won the bean bag race, was not having it. “Come, Father,” he said to his hero. “You be to him.”

“I was really bad,” McGowan said shortly after crossing the finish line on sports day. “I was Steady Eddy; came fourth out of eight. I was just out of the top three.”

Florence, his seven-year-old daughter, was faring much better. He brought home medals – or, in this case, stickers – and his father, standing on the sidelines, was just happy to watch him and accept the transition from being a fighter back to being a normal person.

Now he is free to eat what he wants, go where he likes, and play a more important role than fighting, McGowan currently finds himself in this sweet spot after the war – which he calls the honeymoon period – where the adrenaline of the war and its consequences continue to drive him towards the inevitable abandonment.

“Actually, I’m at a high point,” he said. “I couldn’t sleep. But eventually it ends, right? Everyone admires things now, and calls you a hero and that, but that ends in the end and you are left with nothing but loss. It takes time to stabilize.

“At this point, or in the next few days, I will accept that I have lost and it will hurt. But I keep going, man. I’m not too down about it. I’m a little quiet and I’m like that.”

On Friday, McGowan went 12 rounds against highly regarded German Abass Barao in a European super-welterweight title fight. That alone is remarkable, especially given Baraou’s reputation and McGowan’s career thus far, yet the way he pushed Baraou and won the hearts of the fans ensured that McGowan, 20-5-2 (5), goes home feeling victorious or defeated. . On the one hand, yes, he didn’t make it on his big night, but, on the other, in doing as he did, live on Channel 5, he got the kind of fans who are fighting to get their hand raised.

“I try to have inner success,” he said. “I try to keep it to myself. If I give 100 percent in training, and 100 percent in my performance at night, I have succeeded in what I wanted to do. That’s all I can do.

“It’s disappointing that my performance was not good enough. But, at the same time, it is not in my hand. I won’t be able to do magic by winning. I can’t do magic to beat this guy at night. I did my best in the fight and he was better than me. I have to accept that too do accept it. That’s how I deal with loss.

“Losing hurts, yes, they do, and they always will, because I’m a competitor at the end of the day and I want to win.” But I have to accept that sometimes you try your best and your best is not enough. I know it’s not sexy and it’s not something you read about in sports books, but it’s what works for me.

“That still does not mean that I accept the level I am in, or that I accept the boxer I am today. I’m going to go work on the things I have to work on. But if I was working on everything I needed to work on before the fight, and I was giving it my all, I couldn’t do anything else. If the war doesn’t go my way, there’s not much I can do, right?”

McGowan (Mark Robinson/The Playroom)

To say that McGowan’s competitive attitude is refreshing would be an understatement. Thinking this way, the 29-year-old shows not only humility, maturity and understanding, but also wisdom and confidence that most would think he lacks given everything he just said. The truth after all, intelligence has as much to do with the ability to accept and deal with reality as anything else. Even confidence, something that many boxers need and crave, is only beneficial if it is confidence based on some kind of truth and awareness of what is true and what is not. Otherwise, it is not self-confidence but delusion.

“I got the European title for no reason and I think everyone thought Baraou was going to knock me out and it was going to be a quick and easy night for him,” said McGowan. “The scorecards (119-110, 118-110, and 117-111) may indicate that it was an ‘easy’ night for him, but I know for sure that each round was competitive. Okay, there was the odd round or two that he clearly won, but everyone else was close. It wasn’t like that it’s easy about him.

“He is not human either. He was a legitimate, tough, world-class fighter with a European title. I tried my best but it wasn’t good enough.”

The one from Mancuni added: “I am defeated, but I am not defeated.” At one point in my career, I never thought that I would be involved in battles like that. But there I was talking about the big fight for the European title on Channel 5 and giving the fans what they wanted to see. It doesn’t get much bigger than that for me. It was crazy. I know I said that if I had won the fight it would have made my career, but even just being able to look back on all that time – the European title fight against the WBA number 2 – is precious. I could have done anything back then as a child.”

As they come humbly, and surely as the original as they come, McGowan isn’t the type to eat by playing – either by winning or losing. Instead, as demonstrated on Monday, he is more prone to break out of the ersatz world of attention and praise and quickly return to what he does best and knows. In other words, as soon as possible you want to return to reality; day job; Real life.

“It wasn’t too bad,” he said of his first day back measuring and cutting concrete slabs as a laborer. “I didn’t have to do much. I just measured the plasterboard, then cut and assembled it properly.

“Everyone (at work) was dead happy. Everyone was just talking about fighting and praising me a lot. I enjoyed it. It’s good to have that balance, to see other people, and to bring that process back into my life. Otherwise, you will just focus on it.”

Before cutting the plasterboard, McGowan could be seen at Joe Gallagher’s boxing gym. That’s where he stayed until 11.30am and that’s where he got on and wore the only signs of success he’d brought home from Friday’s battle at Bolton.

“If I ever have a big fight like that, especially a loss, I just like to go in on Monday and get it out of my schedule,” he said. “To be honest, I wanted to wear the Grant gloves that I had. I wore Grant’s gloves in battle and have always wanted to wear them. I have been looking for them for a long time but I will never pay for them. I took them home just to wear them to the gym.”

Look. Who needs belts?

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