At his first attempt, the Offaly light heavyweight has reached a National Elite Senior final following two hard-fought wins in Dublin at the weekend.
A languid rangey boxer, Kennedy had previously struggled against pressure fighters – his 2016 U18 final v Christopher O’Reilly being an example – but the 19-year-old proved himself well able to deal with aggression on Friday and Saturday night.
In his semi-final with Scorpion’s Karol Blugosz, Kennedy got down into the trenches when needed to carve out a 4-1 split-decision win to add to his quarter-final triumph over come-forward Glasnevin puncher Robert Burke the night beforehand.
The wins have the St Mary’s Daingean fighter feeling ready for his final with Caoimhin Agyarko Hynes next week.
Reflecting on the Blugosz fight, Kennedy told Irish-Boxing.com that “it was an awkward enough opponent and I didn’t box to my best. I got two awkward enough fights and that’s going to improve me for next week.”
The Elite Senior Championships have always been the aim for Kennedy who failed to retain his Under-22 title last month, losing in the final to Conor Wallace.
It’s all been preparation for the midlander who didn’t take the defeat badly and explained how “I only had a few weeks training for it [the Under-22s] because I was with the Army.”
“I boxed well in the competition, got to the final, had a close fight with Conor Wallace, a good fight as well.”
“I was happy enough with the performance going up to the Elites.”
Kennedy has filled out into a good-sized light heavyweight and will have a big advantage in this regard over Agyarko Hynes, a natural middleweight.
The talented teenager is confident going into the final next Saturday and outlined how “I’ll start off training hard at the start of the week, then ease it down and relax.”
“I’m full of confidence going in. He’s a good opponent and hopefully it goes my way. It’s all about the performance.”
“I believe that, if I perform to my best, I can beat anyone out there.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)