Brian Kennedy – “This one here, I had the hunger back”

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Brian Kennedy rounded off a roller coaster year on Friday with an Irish title win.

The St Mary’s Daingean light heavyweight had began 2016 with a bang, winning the first under 18 championships and fighting at the European Youths, but would lose out in the final of the second under 18s to Christopher O’Reilly and therefore miss the recent World Youths.

The Offaly teenager admits to being down in the dumps during the Summer, but managed to find his hunger again and bounce back to win the National Senior (Intermediate) title.

Kennedy took on Ryan Donnelly of 2Castles ABC in the decider at the National Stadium in a scrappy bout, and would edge a split decision following three tense rounds.

Speaking to Irish-Boxing.com afterwards, Kennedy described how “it was really cagey, I had to keep away from him, but then there was a stage when I was waiting too much so I knew I had to go forward to get the win, which I did. I’m delighted, I’m only eighteen”

Outlining the up and down (and now back up) year he has had, Kennedy commented how “the first All-Ireland I won back in March at under 18s, I really wanted that one. Then I went to the Europeans, but after being beaten in the Europeans I didn’t have the drive for the second under 18s so quickly afterwards. This one here, I had the hunger back, I really wanted this one

In terms of the future, Kennedy is in no rush, and maturely notes how “I’m going to go for the under 22s, and I’m going to try fill out and get bigger for 81kg. That’s the stepping stone, I’m going to try fill out, get stronger, bigger for the weight – I know I’m not a full size 81kg yet.”

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie