“I just couldn’t wait to get back” – Caoimhin Agyarko Hynes returns to boxing after knife attack


This weekend Caoimhin Agyarko Hynes completes a remarkable comeback while simultaneously kicking off the final journey of his amateur career.

The Belfast middleweight is out in Barcelona with an Antrim team for the Il Torneo Internacional De La Amistad multi-nations.

The fights will act as preparation for the big prize of the Ulster Senior championships in November, however for Agyarko Hynes just fighting in the minor tournament is a massive achievement.

Less than five months ago the Holy Trinity man nearly lost his life. Slashed by a knife on a night out, the blade came perilously close to Agyarko Hynes’s jugular.

The prospect was rushed to hospital, had emergency surgery, and thankfully is nearing a full physical recovery.

However that does not mean the last few months have not been hard for Caoimhin.

The hard-working fighter was forced to sit in the sidelines while his scar healed, and explained to Irish-Boxing.com how “I went up the heaviest I’ve ever been. My weight would never go up past 78kg, 79kg, but I went up to 87kg.”

“Anyone who knows me will know that I just don’t stop training, I don’t like being out of the gym. I just couldn’t wait to get back.”

Indeed Agyarko Hynes had two returns to training – both of which were earlier than expected – with differing results.

The Ulsterman recalled how “I went back a wee bit too early, I went back for one session, but I couldn’t train. I had to take the time off.”

“I was told to take two to three months out by the doctors, but then when I saw my own doctor and the plastic surgeon they were saying ‘whenever you feel like getting back in.'”

“I took six weeks off and I felt really bad, but I’m back into shape now and I’m feeling better.”

“It was hard at the start, I’ve never as bad [at boxing] in my life, I felt like a novice, I felt like I’d never boxed before. I’m glad I didn’t take longer, like the doctors had said, because I would’ve been even worse.”

Agyarko Hynes still bears a long scar down his jawline, which was mended together by around 30 stitches.

“It’s still tender,” he notes.

“It has only been four or five months – but it is getting better, I’ve got cream that I’m using. I can’t feel it sometimes.”

“I don’t think about it in the ring – unless I get hit there and I’m feeling it, then it’s in my head a little.”

“They told me they’d repaired all the nerve damage, and the numbness is starting to go away so I’m feeling it a lot more, it will repair.”

hynes

The tournament this weekend will be his first competitive action since the attack, and the big-punching youngster outlined how “it’s a warm-up for the Ulster Seniors. I said to my coach Mickey [Hawkins] that I want to get out before the Ulster Seniors.”

“I’m back in full training, going flat out, for about a month.”

The Ulster Seniors, which double as a Commonwealth Games qualifier, take place in November and promise to be one of the biggest in recent years.

Agyarko Hynes will have to overcome a talent-packed field that includes reigning champ Fearghus Quinn, clubmate Conor Docherty, and perhaps even Rio Olympian Steven Donnelly.

The fighter of Ghanaian descent is single-minded in his focus, and has the journey that he will follow mapped out in his head

Agyarko Hynes outlined that “everyone wants to get in and do a job, hopefully there’s a good few entries. The more fights the better.”

“The Ulster Seniors is the main target – and the Commonwealth Games is the big picture. I want to go the Games next April then I’ll probably turn pro.”

Il Torneo Internacional De La Amistad, Barcelona
Antrim Team
48kg Chloe Fleck (Canal)
51kg Carly McNaul (Ormeau Road)
52kg Conor Quinn (Clonard)
56kg Eamonn McNally (St Michaels)
60kg Seamus Deeds (Emerald)
64kg Nathan Watson (Saints)
69kg Aidan Walsh (Monkstown)
75kg Caoimhin Agyarko Hynes (Holy Trinity)

gym trition

frayne carpentry

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