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“I was forgotten about but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t training” – Emmet Brennan is back

Emmet Brennan is back in the National Elite Senior finals and the Dublin middleweight is determined to do it his way.

The Dublin middleweight would win the 2017 edition and reach the Last 16 of the European Championships but has been something of a forgotten man since.

Injuries have kept Brennan from competing at the highest level but the Glasnevin fighter now has a clean bill of health and has attacked the 2019 Seniors with a vengance.

A quarter-final win over Tony McGlynn was followed up by a semi-final defeat of Ulster champion Fearghus Quinn and now Brennan is just nine minutes away from reclaiming a title he never got to defend.

Forgotten about? Probably. Underestimated? Quite Possibly.

Brennan doesn’t care though and told that “I think I was underestimated before these championships but I’m happy with that.”

“I’m headstrong, I know my ability, I’m well capable of winning next week. I’ve won these before.”

“I was forgotten about but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t training. They can forget about me, underestimate me, but that’s their problem and it’s going to come back and haunt them.”

“I’m still a professional, turning up to training, giving a hundred percent every time. If you underestimate me, you’re going to get beaten, simple as that.”

With two wins in two weeks, the 27-year-old is regaining full sharpness and admitted that “you can’t beat fighting. You’re talking, from the end of September [2017], well over a year without fighting.”

“I had one or two injuries, I did my knuckle but I’ve had no problems with that and I had a hernia for two or three years which meant I couldn’t train properly, I was doing three weeks on, two weeks off. I had the operation though and I’m great now.”

“A happy boxer is a dangerous boxer, as they say.”

Standing in front of him on Saturday night is the highly-touted Gabriel Dossen, but the talented Galway teenager, winner of European and World Youth bronze, doesn’t faze Brennan.

“What’s Gabriel?” he asked.

“20? 19? I don’t think he’s fought a ‘man’. [Brett] McGinty is 20, [Michael] Nevin is 20, I don’t think he’s fought a man, someone as physically strong as me.”

“We’ll come up with a gameplan, I’m not going to try ‘hurt’ him because that’s not what I’m about, I’ll box and I’ll win. I’m confident.”

The prizes are on offer – with European Games and World Championships on the agenda – and Brennan is keen to get back into the High Performance and international scene having had a taste in 2017.

READ: Injured but Incredible – Gabriel Dossen makes final

However, the self-assured Dub knows his own worth and is insistent that a win on Saturday must put him top ahead of more fancied, or indeed funded, names.

“It does make me hungrier to get back but, at the same time, I’m not going to be a pawn for the IABA,” said Brennan.

“If I win these next week which I hope I will do, I should be #1. I’m not going to go up there and be a #3 behind Nevin and Dossen. If I win it, I’ve won it fair and square.”

“Just because I wasn’t up in the High Performance for the last year and a half due to my injuries and through factors which were no fault of my own, I still see myself as #1 and I’d be confident of going to European and World Championships and medalling at them.”


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: