The Wexford bantamweight won the National Senior [Intermediate] title at the weekend at the second attempt and has gotten to a level which he previously didn’t think possible.
Losing in the semi-finals last year, Purcell was back a year older, a year stronger, and a year better, and defeated Conor Kerr to take the 56kg crown.
A real clash of styles, the Enniskerry teen took a unanimous decision following an assured performance at the National Stadium.
Looking back on the bout, Purcell admitted to Irish-Boxing.com afterwards that “we weren’t too sure about him.”
“I knew I had too much boxing for him but we had a look at him last weekend and we knew he was dangerous, he was hitting with power, hitting to kill rather than to box.”
“He was a fighter and I was a boxer and I think I outboxed him today.”
“It was cagey for the first 30 seconds or so but then I found him out and I started to tee off. I’m very happy with the performance.”
Twelve months has made a big difference for the skilled fighter who explained how “I boxed in the Seniors [Intermediates] last year but it was a different ball game.”
“I was a young lad, I was 18, I was only just turned 18. I wasn’t ready, I hadn’t enough Senior boxing behind me.”
Describing the differences and developments which have occurred since, Purcell outlined how “this year, I think I had 10 senior fights, I was in Haringey, I had an International in Italy, I was at the World Universities in Russia. I got a lot of experience behind me.”
“I’ve been training all year, I got with a personal trainer and I’ve just gone to a different level strength and conditioning wise.”
“Things are looking well.”
It was a big win for the understated Purcell who declared that “tonight’s the start.”
“The dream was always to be a Senior boxer and win as a Senior boxer. When I was a young lad I used to look at them and think ‘how do they do that?’ but I think I’m there or thereabouts now.”
“It’s only going to get better and better, I have it.”