Interview: Gorey boxer David Kennedy relishing upcoming London fights

After his national title success earlier in the year, David Kennedy will now be travelling to London this week…

Along with 14 other boxers, Kennedy will be representing Team Ireland across the water, flying over this Wednesday, June 14th.

Starting on Friday, an opportunity to box some of Europe’s best fighters awaits Kennedy in the Haringey Box Cup which takes place at Alexandra Palace, more commonly known by darts fans in particular as the ‘Ally Pally’.

Kennedy is no stranger to the ring or to success in Box Cups. Last year, along with winning the National title at 80kg, Kennedy also won silverware at the Celtic Box Cup which took place in Dungarvan, Waterford back in September.

Kennedy’s first fight in the Haringey Box Cup will be on Friday, but with all weekend-like tournaments, if he keeps winning, he’ll be fighting across the whole weekend and that’s something he’s “100% aiming to do.”

Sitting across from him in Gorey’s Costa Coffee, there’s a level of confidence about the man togged out like he’s just back from the gym or just back from a run wearing black shorts and a black Jordan’s Barbershop sponsored top with his name printed on it in the top right.

“This has been the best training coach I’ve ever had. I’ve got a Strength and Conditioning coach on board, Matthew Dunbar from Pace 14, he’s been unbelievable.”

“The coaches at the Gorey Boxing Club have got me in serious condition. Niall, Mick, Rocky, Paul, Karen. They have all played their part.”

“I’ve got great sparring too. I’ve been doing a lot of sparring and getting a lot of rounds. I’ve also been doing a lot of sprint work rather than long-distance running and I can really see the benefits of that too. ”

“Recently, I got a spar down in Wexford off Kyle Roche. Just yesterday, I got a spar off an Irish Elite Champion – Chris O’Reilly- in Drogheda. That was good preparation,” he continued.

Kennedy after he was crowned National Champion.

As mentioned, Kennedy will be fighting at the Ally Pally at 80kg, light-heavyweight. There’ll be a number of rings going at once and the place will be oozing in boxing class from all around the world.

“There would be something wrong if you weren’t nervous before a fight. But, this is where you want to be. You want to be fighting on the big stage, fighting for your country.”

“You want to be in there with the best of them, fighting at an Elite level. I believe I’m up there with the best, so this will be a good test for me.”

One unique element of the Haringey Box Cup is the fact boxers don’t really know who they’ll be fighting against until the day of the tournament – but Kennedy doesn’t mind that whatsoever:

“I know a few going from Ireland from different boxing clubs, but I wouldn’t be aware of the English lads or anyone going from other countries.”

“But, they are short fights – and we’ll get to know each other fairly quickly like. In a sense, they don’t know me, and I don’t know them. It is what it is. So it’s the same for everybody.”

Winning a Box Cup in Waterford is one thing, but London is another different level. The step up in class is something that Kennedy is looking forward to.

Despite being aware of the competition and the level of boxers that he will be competing against, Kennedy is not short of confidence heading into the tournament.

“I’d be always backing myself. I think I have what it takes to win it. But, it’s going to be a good competition. And you really do have to be on your A-game to win it.”

Along with the experience of fighting some of Europe’s best on a big stage, the fact that he can fight for his country is another motivator for the Gorey man.

“I would be very proud of that. I took a little break from boxing for a few years. When I came back, I never thought I’d be able to box for my country again. This will definitely be a good experience.”

“What Irish man doesn’t want to fight for his country,” he said while smiling.

The main aim for Kennedy – it seems – is progression. He will be using the Haringey Box Cup as “a stepping stone” and a “test” to see where he’s at.

The interview ended with an informal chat about boxing in general and his inspirations in the ring growing up. And one thing that ‘Bomber’ said really highlights the character of the man and his razor-sharp focus.

“I’d look up to Katie Taylor. She’s an inspiration to everyone. And the likes of Floyd Mayweather. I think he’s the best ever.”

“But, I’m just focussing on myself really. Trying to be the best I can be,” he said.

David ‘Bomber’ Kennedy will be fighting in the Haringey Box Cup this Friday and there’s no doubt that he will have the whole of Gorey and Wexford behind him as he represents Ireland on the international stage.

Jason Redmond
Jason Redmond

From Gorey, Jason is the owner of Wexford Weekly. He is also a post-primary English and History teacher.

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