Michael Hennessy may have been born across the Irish Sea, but the teenage welterweight bleeds green.
The St Monica’s fighter has long been committed to Ireland, despite his birthplace, and has recently entered the adult ranks.
After a semi-final exit to Gabriel Dossen in last year’s under-18s and a narrow split-decision defeat to eventual Commonwealth Youth silver medalist Anthony Johnston in a box-off ensured that Hennessy was unable to make a splash on the international scene.
An early move up to Elite level saw the 18-year-old enter the Senior Championships however he was defeated in his quarter-final by Eugene McKeever, a defeat he and some notable others dispute.
The loss hurt Hennessy, who told Irish-Boxing.com that “the result was pre-determined. I won the fight clearly.”
“Bernardo Checa was there, he thought I won, so did Nicolas Cruz.”
“I don’t want to get too into it, but there are politics involved. The worst part was, it was a 5-0 [unanimous decision].”
“My dream was to go to the Olympics for Ireland. I won the fight, but they’re clearly out to get me and I’m now seriously debating whether to turn pro.”
Hennessy’s Irish link is strong, and he explained how his time is split “50-50” between Ireland and England.
“I’m still back and forth a lot. I’ve family in Dublin, Wexford, and Ballymena, but I spend most of my time in Newry at St Monica’s.”
“I’ve been fighting in Ireland since I was about 12. I’ve been treated great here, I’ve been treated better than I was in England.”
Hennessy is the son of Fury promoter Mick, however he does not look to benefit too much off the name – although he can feel an acknowledgement of his family connections in his opponents.
“I wouldn’t be spending time in pro gyms or anything like that. I’ve done a session or two with Peter Fury before, but it’s all about St Monica’s.”
“I definitely feel it though from other lads, every time. They know who my dad is and a fight with me can be like an FA Cup final, it brings the best out of them.”
In terms of Hennessy himself, he could very much be described as a ‘pro-styled’ fighter. This perhaps could explain his loss at the weekend, although he notes how “I’m not interested in the amateur sword fencing, I am more aggressive, I thought that’s what they wanted?”
“I’m a box-fighter, I can box and I can fight. I was more than ready [to step up to adult level], I’m very strong and I can push them back from pillar to post.”
“I’ve a lot to think about, I would definitely feel more suited to the pros. I could do twelve rounds tomorrow.”
“I could be a world champion in the pros, unified, multi-weight, for Ireland.”