“I definitely won the fight” – Jake Hanney calls for Victor Rabei rematch

Jake Hanney [5(4)-2(1)] admits he wasn’t at his best when facing Victor Rabei in a TG4 broadcast fight, but still believes he did enough to win the fight.

Indeed, ‘The Wizard’ believes the circumstances around his performance and the result- which he believes was wrong- warrant a rematch.

Co-commentator Spike O’Sullivan and pundit Andy Lee both felt the East Wall man did enough to claim victory, while the majority of the press ringside lent the way of the Moldovan-Dub.

Hanney himself didn’t argue the result on the night, but admits he went from believing he shaded it on the night to being convinced he won upon watching back the footage.

“On the night I knew I didn’t perform like I can so I knew it was close. I thought just shaded it and after watching it back I definitely won the fight,” he told Irish-Boxing.com.

“I wasn’t at my best but won the fight. I’d agree with Andy and Spike who both have said it to me after the fight they thought I won.”

The match-up didn’t quite live up to it’s billing.

In fact, Rabei versus Karl Kelly was a more entertaining affair. The fact the Steven O’Rourke-trained fighter seemed to have a little more respect for Hanney than Kelly and the reality tht the Eddie Hyland-trained fighter’s timing was a bit off due to his two-year ring absence led to it being tense, tentative, and untidy rather than the fire0fight many predicted.

After the fight the Inner City Dub did admit that he felt a bit rusty and believes it affected his ability to perform.

“Ring rust played a big part on my performance, but its eight rounds banked at top level and there’ll be none for my next one.”

“I felt great, unbelievable, heading into the ring. I felt sharp as fuck warming up but I wasn’t too happy with my performance.”

“I had some ring rust, my timing was a bit out and maybe I wasted a bit of energy beforehand. I think you can put that down to not being in there for so long.”

“It’s frustrating, but the positives from that are it was the first one. That first one is out the way now and those problems won’t happen again.”

Hanney’s history would lead some to predict that he may fall away from the game again. His high profile defeat Tyrone McKenna was followed by a prolonged absence, but the 29-year-old remains in upbeat mood and promises he will now remain a regular on the domestic scene.

victor rabei

In fact, he has a date lined up and will back training as early as Monday.

“One million percent,” he answers when asked if he is back for good. 

“My team have a date nailed in all already. I can’t say when just yet, but it’s not far off. Camp starts again Monday.”

“Even though we didn’t get the result I’m still buzzing and can’t wait to go again. I believe this is only the start of some big nights.”

Hanney is hopeful one of those big nights will be a return with Rabei, whose stock seems to have risen further after his TV win.

He suggests the St Michael’s Gym fighter and Irish title hopeful has agreed to it during an online back-and-forth, but warns the longer it’s left the more dangerous he will be.

“The rematch is definitely what I want and, if he’s honest, I’m sure he does because, if he watched it back, I’m sure he will want it.”

“We sort of had words on Facebook a couple days ago saying we would do it again so hopefully he sticks to that. I’d rather it sooner or later, but I’m only gonna get stronger and stronger as time goes on and everybody will see that.”

Considering he holds rematch hopes, Hanney was never going to be overly complimentary of his most recent foe, but did offer Rabei some praise post their eight rounds.

“If I’m honest he was better than I thought. He stood at times fair play to him, plus he does move well.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@thefIrish)


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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