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‘I’m back and I’m back for the right reasons’ – Hungry Hanney wants to do himself justice

Jake Hanney [5(4)-2(1)] is back to feed a burning desire to hurt people and do himself justice in the boxing ring.

The Dubliner has linked back up with Boxing Ireland after a two-year absence from the game and is adamant he returns a different and more dangerous animal.

The popular Eastwall native has promised so much over the years but has a number of false dawns. During a stint in Australia, he was being billed as a potential take-over star but a two-year break from the ring stole him of that momentum. The Inner City fighter then looked set for a run of fights at home but after a victory over Innocent Anyanwu had to go into the away corner against Tyrone McKenna at relatively short notice.

Hanney put up a fight but ultimately lost against the Belfast southpaw and was again left in limbo. He signed with Boxing Ireland in early 2019 and secured a TV title fight with Victor Rabei soon after, again he was competitive but came out second best – and fell off the radar soon after.

However, ‘The Wizard’ is back now and ready to work his magic.

“I believe I’m the best place I’ve ever been in mentally and soon physically,” Hanney told Irish-boxing.com. “I’m in a great job, college is complete and I’m just really happy and content in life.

“I genuinely believe you will see the best Jake Hanney you’ve seen in the professional ranks, without a doubt. I have that hunger back, that’s been missing for a long time, even training in the club this week I wanna’ be the best. I also wanna’ hurt people again. I haven’t felt that killer instinct in a long time.

“I’m back and I’m back for the right reasons, I’m back to do myself justice.”

The entertaining Dub, who lost his last two against Tyrone McKenna and Victory Rabei, reveals he stepped away from the sport because he felt he couldn’t fully commit – and as a result couldn’t give a proper account of himself.

“I’ve been out of boxing because I didn’t think I could fully commit. I wasn’t getting the results I would have got if I was fully committed and focused,” he adds.

“I went from being a standout amateur to not performing as pro, so I decided to continue to working and went back to college. At that stage, I thought I was happy enough to leave boxing and do other things. I was just training and keeping fit although I’ve never stopped thinking about boxing, never.”

Over the last year or so the sweet science has moved from the back to the forefront of Hanney’s mind and after months of deliberating his other half all but demanded he get in touch with Boxing Ireland.

“The last 6-12 months I’ve started to feel very regretful about my boxing career as a professional. I’ve had great opportunities as a professional abroad and here in Ireland, potentially huge opportunities if I had been fully focused and committed! I’ve been going back and fort about reaching out to Lenoard [Gunning] and Ste [Sharp] over the last while. It was actually my missus that gave me push to do it.”

Reach out to Boxing Ireland he did and a road map has already been put in place.

“Myself Ste and Len have had chat and we’ve got plan. I think we’ve 2-3 fights in the pipeline, all been well with covid. I’m now training in Crumlin under Phill [Sutcliffe], a coach that knows me since I was 11 and coming through as an amateur. They have a great set up in Crumlin and a gang of great lads. I’d just like to say big thanks to Len and Ste, the work there doing for us is brilliant,” he adds before doubling down on his different animal claims.

“I’ve found the love for the sport again, something that’s been missing for years! And I’m coming!”

Photo credit Ricardo Guglielminotti @fightingirish

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 sports for a living for over 20 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