Date’s emergence has come from left field. Dubai certainly wouldn’t be a boxing stronghold, but from that far-off base the 24-year-old seems to be building a career.
There might not be regular fight night experience to be gained in the UAE, nor is it helpful in selling tickets for shows back home, but Date is taking a lot of positives from his time abroad.
Although it’s not renowned for its boxing trainers, the powerful fighter claims he is picking up things from those around him in the gym and has adopted the driven mentality that is prevalent in the city.
Now the Waterford light middleweight is intending to use this experience ahead of his homecoming fight at the WIT Arena this coming Saturday night.
“I have had a great time in Dubai and it has definitely been a great experience,” he told Irish-Boxing.com.
“You are constantly surrounded by successful people in completely different industries. What I have learned from every one of them is to get to that level it’s hard work no matter what you are doing,” he added before detailing the high-quality of training in the Gulf
“Some of the guys from around the gym are amazing – MMA guys, some have been ex-Olympians, and UFC guys.”
“They all work extremely hard, have an amazingly strong mindset and focus. Definitely, these are some of the most valuable things I have taken from my experience here.”
Date’s appearance on the Ring Kings bill, where he co-headlines in a six-rounder against Cork-based South African Jade Karam, is his first of 2018 – a year he hopes will end with a title.
The Déise man outlined that “I want to keep picking up a few more wins and get myself in the best shape I can, really.”
“I want to be consistent with fights and get into some of the big training camps, so I can continue to learn.”
“If at the end of this year there’s the chance for a belt I will definitely be taking it.”
“I have now put myself in a position to be fully committed which is now the time everyone will see the best of me.”
The card this weekend is co-headlined by Craig McCarthy and also features Eric Donovan, Mike Perez, Keane McMahon, John Joyce, Graham McCormack O’Shea, and debutant Barry Barnes.