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Bernie Cawley Calls for Fellow Underage Big Men to Fight!

Don’t enter if you’re not going to fight! That was Bernie Cawley’s message to his fellow underage big men after being crowned Irish champion in the National Stadium just over two weeks ago.

The St David’s super heavy collected two Irish titles in 2022 – but much to his frustration did so without having to throw a single punch.

All the 17-year-old’s prospective opponents pulled out before it was time to step through the ropes and trade leather.

“It happened to me in January, I got a semi-final and final and the opponent pulled out,” Big Bad Bernie told

“It happened again here in the final, so it’s three times in a row, so I recommend for the next time don’t enter the weight if you are not going to box. You are wasting your own time and my time.

“It’s a bit sickening that they are entering, getting my hopes up, and then not fighting.”

Cawley admits there could be legitimate reason behind the pullouts but does wonder if his reputation as a big man with power and panache might be scaring fighters away.

“Not to brag, but I’m a very skillful big heavyweight. I can move around, I can box, I can bang and I have a small bit of a reputation. It could be that or it could be other things. I just don’t think [the opponent] wanted to come up to Dublin just to get banged out,” he adds before lamenting further.

“It’s a totally different feeling winning this Irish title than the last one I boxed for.”

Cawley points out it’s not just that in ring-winning moment he is missing out on, he also feels robbed of competitive action and the kind of rounds he needs if he is going to be competitive at the World Championships set for Spain and November.

“I can’t get anyone to fight me in Ireland, it’s going to have to happen at international level. Any super heavyweight in Ireland can get it, any one of them. You need preparation and fights in Ireland to help you when you go out to the big tournaments and fight the Russians, Ukrainians and the English. It would be good if I get a couple of fights before the World Championships. If I can’t I’ll get good sparring.

“I am going to try get a few Box Cups under my belt. I’m still rusty, I haven’t fought in three months. I can’t go out to the World Championships with no preparation. I need decision fights I need someone to step up and show a bit of balls and get into the ring with me.”

As someone who put in the work and got ready to fight, Cawley is as deserving a champion as any of those who had their hand raised during the tournament – and speaking at the Stadium after picking up his medal thanked his club for getting him prepared.

“I want to thank my coaches and team for my preparation. It was a good camp and hopefully, I get picked for the World Championships.”


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years