Darmani Rock fight WILL happen says Niall Kennedy


Niall Kennedy [12(7)-0-1] wants Philadelphia’s Darmani Rock [14(9)-0] to play a role in what has to be a massive 2019 for the 34-year-old heavyweight.

‘Boom Boom Bas’ is keen to become part of the re-energized heavyweight mix by 2020 but knows to do that he needs to string together some big wins

Kennedy, who last year turned down the chance to face Joe Joyce at short notice in favour of a carefully planned assault at the top rather than a reckless charge, wants to get all his learning and improving done over the next 12 months.

The Celtic Warrior Gym fighter has a number of targets and potential opponents he feels will help secure him and world ranking, but claims there is one fight he wants more than most.

In the closest thing you will get to a Kennedy call out the Wexford big man claims Philly youngster Darmani Rock, a boxer some describe as America’s best heavyweight prospect, is a fight that should and will happen.

Kennedy was left disappointed following the falling through proposed bout with Rock on the massive Matchroom USA card set for Philadelphia next weekend which includes world title fights for Katie Taylor and Jono Carroll – and seems to want revenge.

READ: Niall Kennedy misses out on clash with top U.S. prospect

The Gorey Garda outlined how “my goal is always to improve with each fight. I want to be world ranked and fight the top names in the division but I know if that’s going to happen, 2019 has to be a huge year for me.”

“There’s a lot of fighters I want to share the ring with but right now I think myself vs Philadelphia’s Darmani Rock is a fight that should and will happen,” said Kennedy.

Instead of fighting the former World Youth gold medallist, Kennedy will return to his home away from home and appear on Murphys Boxing’s annual St Patrick’s show the following night [Saturday March 16th] and suggests he has landed a more than acceptable consolation prize.

“I won the Massachusetts State heavyweight title on the Murphys Paddy’s Day show in 2017 and it was an amazing experience,” recalled Kennedy whose opponent for next week is yet to be named.

“The atmosphere is like nothing I’ve ever witnessed at a boxing event. I’m looking forward to being part of it again.

“I’m blessed with the support that I have received from the people of Boston and Massachusetts in general. I have a large family connection in the state who bring out massive support so when it comes to boxing homes, Boston is my first boxing home.”

Murphys Boxing founder and lead singer of the Dropkick Murphys, Ken Casey, is delighted to have Kennedy as part of the card and agrees that 2019 will be a breakout year for his heavyweight.

The well-liked fight boss described how “Niall is one of our most popular fighters and he has huge fights on the horizon. We want to keep him active this year so he can be at his best for what lies ahead.”

“Having an Irish heavyweight on a St. Patrick’s Day show puts this card over the top as one of the best Murphys Boxing has ever done.”

There is plenty of Irish interest on the card next week which co-headlined by Cork light middleweight Spike O’Sullivan who boxes Khiary Gray over eight while Noely Murphy and John Joyce also clash over eight at welterweight.

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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com