‘Imagine if I actually trained’ – Big-hitting Gareth Dowling promises not to be a one-hit wonder
The man whose name was on everyone’s lips at the National Stadium on Saturday says the fight fraternity would really have had something to talk about if he had of trained going into the National U22 Championships.
Gareth Dowling came from near enough nowhere to emerge from a talent-packed 67kg weight class as Irish champion, literally bulldozing his way to a first Irish title win and into the consciousness of all fight followers.
The Dublin Dockland’s fighter showed freakish and frightening power en route to the prestigious underage title win, stopping three opponents, including a World Championship medal winner, and handing out two standing eight counts to the fighter that did manage to go the distance with him.
It was an extraordinary Championships that put the ambitious Dub on the map and one he argues could have been more impressive if he’d had a proper lead-in.
“Imagine if I actually trained,” he said after the win.
“Truth be told this is me coming back after seven months out from two broken hands, coming in a bit unfit, with just one running session and two spars under my belt.
“I had one spar with [professional fighter] Pierce O’Leary and one spar in the local community centre. That was it and then into the 22s the week later.”
Dowling claims he always had power but finds the trick in unleashing it is not to go looking for the big shots. The Dockland’s fighter also says he isn’t defined by his ability to punch, although admits it comes in very handy especially when your opponents can trump you in terms of activity and thus sharpness.
“The power comes naturally and it comes easier if I don’t try,” he adds.
“I have great boxing ability but power comes in handy when you are not flying fit like these lads. These lads had 20 fights each in the last year. You have to understand I’m out of the ring since last March,” he adds before suggesting he is not a one-hit-wonder.
“I’m not just here for one Championship. I’m here to stay.”
The young prospect also spoke openly about his dreams and ambitions and seems to have found real drive and inspiration in the chance to become a role model.
“I want to be someone the kids look up to. I want to have it all, I want to meet them all, and I want to travel with boxing. I want to meet great people with genuine intentions. I want to put all the work I have inside me into something good because a lot of hard work in Dublin gets wasted.
“It goes on stupid things and gets wasted. People are working for the wrong things and to impress the wrong people. I’ve been around it all my life. The long term goal is to focus on boxing and strive from there. I’m off social media I don’t want the attention I just want tunnel vision and focus.”
Photo credit Matthew Spadding