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Introducing: Sean Duffy – ‘I’m just a nobody who can fight a bit’

If the song is true and ‘you’re nobody ’till somebody loves you’, new fan favourite Sean Anthony Duffy [0-1] must be a somebody now.

The mystery Monaghan man caught the attention of Irish fight fans when he made an out-of-the-blue under-the-radar debut in the exotic surrounds of Vietnam on January 1.

Duffy played his part in an all action scrap and got the Irish boxing year off to a highly entertaining start in the process.

The result didn’t go the Irish fighter’s way but his display earned him some serious fight fan love and sparked an inquest into who he was and where he had come from.

However, even after Ireland’s greatest boxing brains and nerds were consulted, Duffy still remained a mystery.

Speaking to Irish-boxing.com the fighter with a mini cult following explained why: ” I’m just a nobody who can fight a bit.”

It turns out the 31-year-old middleweight is based and settled in the South East Asian country, has no affilliation to any club in Ireland and no major boxing experience.

Duffy did some kickboxing over a decade ago and dabbled in the world of white collar but has no combat experience outside of that. He has been attending the Trigger Boxing club in Vietnam, more to keep fit than anything, but his fighting Irish spirit lead him to the sparing and eventually to a profesional fight.

“I basically train myself and did a bit of training at the Trigger Boxing Facility. I never had an amateur career, I boxed a little when I was younger but never followed through. I did have some white-collar fights before, and I did kickboxing for a number of years. I started that when I was about 19, and still enthuse about it, but havent fought in 10 years,” he adds before explaining how he ended up in against Van Hieu Pham earlier this month.

“I live in Vietnam,” he continues. “I teach English online and I have a wife and son here. I just box for fun and to test my ability. I fully believe in the Irish fighting spirit, and over here, as inexperienced as I am, I have sparred countless dudes. I’ve held my own, and more against them on several occassions. So, when the promoter asked me would I be interested in doing a pro fight, I took it as a challenge, and I said ‘yes’.”

Duffy is under no illussions with regard to where he is at. He isn’t predicting a takeover or world title success. However, he does like to fight and believes he can have some fun and success on the Vietnamese scene.

“At the end of the day, im a full-time teacher, and boxing is a hobby. But I have the beating of a few lads here and I’d rise up to the challenge to test my mettle. I’m not going looking for anything special, but I’d like to be able to say that I jumped into the scene and went for it.”

Duffy’s debut ended in defeat but he expected as much.

“I had no illusions about maybe me not getting a fair shake,” he explains when discussing a fight most felt he won.

“I didnt agree with the UD. I felt like I won rounds 1 and 4, and put him under constant pressure. It wasnt beautiful, it wasnt pretty to look at, but I had a plan,” he adds before suggesting he may have forced the stoppage if he was allowed saller gloves.

“It was a shame i had to wear the 12 ounces. I really feel like I could have dominated him more with the smaller gloves, espically as his style was purely defensive, and counter flurrying. I believe there’s no way he could have maintained that guard had we been wearing 10’s. But like I say I was up against it. I have no bad feelings toward him but I will be seeing him again and it’ll be with 10-ounce gloves, and I’m going to train hard and furious until then.”

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