Introducing: Robbie Burke


If Robbie Burke [1(1)-0] was to move up the boxing ladder as quickly as he turned over, the Dubliner could be the undisputed world champion by summer.

Within minutes of losing his National Elite light heavyweight quarter-final to David Bicevis the former Glasnevin BC puncher was considering his options. Less than 48 hours later he had completed his medical and secured a fight.

By Thursday of the following week he was given the all clear, completed his first pro-weigh in by the Friday and within a week of his last amateur fight he was registering a first pro win on the same card in Hungary as Ireland’s youngest pro James Power and known name Declan Geraghty.

It was more a tornado than whirlwind few days and, as the 30-year-old explains, it wasn’t as though he was always planning to ditch the vest once he exited the National Elites.

An opportunity arose via Andy O’Neill and he simply took it.

“I was in the Elite all-Ireland’s the Saturday before my pro debut and was on the wrong side of a 3-2 split decision. I definitely thought I did enough to get it and so did a good few watching that night in the Stadium. I was gutted being honest,” he recalled in his first interview with Irish-Boxing.com.

“Then I was talking to my friend Andy O’Neill. He was over at the fight that night and said ‘you’re training all year to get a decision like that, would you not go pro?'”

“So I booked my medical for that Monday, had the results by Thursday, and gave him a ring to ask for advice about going pro. So, we were chatting away and he told me he had two lads boxing in Budapest that weekend would I be into going if he could get me matched up and I said let’s do it why not.” he continued

It was a big decision to make in such a short space of time but Burke was handed an out once he arrived in Budapest.

His original opponent pulled out and when offered the chance of fight a heavier foe Gyula Olah he could have put the breaks on.

However, by that stage the, Burke had made up his mind and it was all systems go.

“The day of fight the lad I was boxing pulled out. I am not sure why so it wasn’t looking good for me getting a fight after traveling to Hungary.”

“Then the promoter asked Andy would I fight a lad he had making his debut on the same card. He weighed in 87kg and I weighed 81kg, so I would be giving a stone away in weight if I fought.”

“I know it was a big risk to take but I wasn’t going home with out a fight so I took the fight.”

Not only did he take the fight he managed to force his bigger opponent to retire before the four rounds had passed, with the fight being stopped after the second.”

That sort of fighting spirit is something Burke claims fans will benefit from as he plans to make an impact in an increasingly busy Irish pro scene.

The Glasnevin native plans to entertain and give value for money.

“Fight fans can expect exciting fights with me. I love a good war and I will give people there money’s worth at any of the shows I’m on,” he explains before outlining the pro targets.

“I’m really putting the head down now and focusing on learning and adapting to the pro style as quick as I can .

“I want to try get as many fights I can this year. Hopefully I’ll be fighting on big shows and chasing an Irish title and whatever belts come my way.”

“You have to believe to achieve an I believe I’m well capable of an Irish title.”

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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