Rohan Daté moved to 2(1)-0 on Friday with a wide points win in Dubai and is hoping to be at the forefront of a growing boxing scene in the Gulf area – but is still planning a fight or two back to Ireland.
The Waterford welter relocated to the United Arab Emirates a year ago for work and kept up his boxing training once there.
While maybe not a hotbed of boxing at the moment, the sport is rapidly expanding in the oil-rich city. Additionally, the former St Paul’s amateur soon found that plenty of pros spent time training in the hot weather area – and a few spars helped convince him to jump on-board the Dubai boxing boom.
Daté told Irish-Boxing.com that “once the opportunities came I jumped on them as there are some big promoters who are getting involved here, and the future pro scene looks big.”
“There are a lot of the top pros that come to Dubai every week and are in and out of the gym who I have held my own against in sparring.”
A big puncher, the Déise banger often found himself constrained by the old point-scoring system, and Daté admits that “I wasn’t a fan of the amateurs when the point system was around and I really prefer the new system, but in the pros it’s a lot of heavy hitting which is suiting me well so far – as well as using angles and speed.”
“I never lost the hunger just maybe I was impatient and fed up of the amateur side of the sport.”
This suitability to the pros could be seen in the 23 year old’s debut during the Summer where he scored an Irish KO of the Year contender against Gerald Dah. This power was on display again at the weekend during his points win over Stephen Okine. While the fight went the four round distance, Daté floored the experienced Ghanaian twice.
Happy with his performance on Friday, he described how “it was a much more composed fight than my debut. I didn’t rush anything and was still ready to do more rounds after – which I wish I had against this guy as he fought some top lads who had went the distance with him for 6 and 8 rounds but I think I could have knocked him out if I had another round.”
Okine represented a surprisingly tough second fight for Daté. 12(7)-13(7)-1 going into the bout, the African had fought and won many minor belts, and had gone five rounds with Craig Watson and the full six with Michael Lomax in the past.
On his level of opposition, Daté noted how “I think people are expecting the opponents to be of less quality here – but many of the lads we had over have all boxed on major shows in the UK or Europe.”
“I will only be expecting the same type of opponents for now and keep stepping it up as I look to increase the rounds sooner rather than later.”
Daté has big 2017 plans, which will hopefully include a return home. He outlined how “I have another fight lined up here early next year and I’m hoping to have one back home then as soon as possible. I’ll see what shows are on, hopefully I can get a big support from Waterford wherever the show is. It’s been over a year since I was home so it would be a good coming home to that.”