‘I won’t be retiring’ – best is yet to come promises Nail Kennedy

Ireland’s leading heavyweight Nial Kennedy [13(8)-1(1)-1] is adamant retirement remains some way off.

The Wexford fighter suffered a first career defeat last time out having been stopped by former Olympian Devin Vargas in Springfield.

In fairness, even before it was confirmed Kennedy suffered the recurrence of a back injury in the seconds before the first bell there were no widespread calls for him to call it a day.

There was a general understanding the boxing Gardai had an off night against a gatekeeper, whose only defeats came to eventual world title challengers.

However, the fighter himself has suggested there have been calls for him to hang them up.

Be that because fighting this summer looks extremely unlikely due to the current pandemic, the defeat or because Kennedy is now 36, he doesn’t specify.

One thing he does make clear is, he has no intentions of retiring. In a wide ranging interview with Sean McGoldrick published in the Independent, the Pascal Collins trained heavyweight says he will keep punching until the tank is empty.

The Murphys Boxing big man doesn’t take into account the defeat to the American as the back pain prevented him from producing his best.

“Without a shadow of a doubt I will definitely fight again and even if I lose again I won’t be retiring,” Kennedy said.

“Everybody else is ready for me to hang up my gloves but I’m not. The last fight wasn’t a true reflection of my ability, because I had an injury,” he adds.

“I still believe I haven’t shown my true ability. I want to empty the tank completely and to be sure that when I do retire I know I have given it everything.”

The Massachusetts State heavyweight title winner has been keen to rematch Vargas and has been assured of fights by Murphys.

‘Boom Boom Baz’ has also rebuffed an offer to fight Joe Joyce, prior to the English prospect securing a shot at European honours – and thus will be aware big fights are still well within range.

Such is the heavyweight landscape at present one or two good wins could secure you a tilt at a fringe world level opponent. Victory in that fight could move you close to a world title fight, particularly if the straps begin to fragment.

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