Making his debut on ‘The Beginning’ bill at the National Stadium on Saturday July 7th will be Darndale light welterweight Wayne Kenny.
32 years old, it’s now or never for the Dubliner.
While he never competed at the top level of the amateur game, Kenny has been involved in boxing for most of his life and, having come through a torrid spell of injuries, is going to roll the dice and give the pros a go.
Kenny explained how “Jay pursued me the past couple of months. I sort of ignored it for a while.”
“I’ve good boxing ability and he knows that and he said ‘why not have a crack?’ Jay’s a hard man to say ‘no’ to, he sticks to his word.”
“I boxed in the amateurs, I wasn’t too successful. I boxed in the Intermediates and I boxed in the Semi-Pros. I’ve done a bit of boxing in Spain and in England too.”
“I’ve been out with injuries the past two-three years, on and off. I was iffy about it, whether to do it or not [turn pro], to be honest, because of the injuries. That sort of ran me away from boxing but I’ve overcome them all.”
“I’ve overcome my injuries and I’ve been training hard.”
Former Edenmore amateur Kenny knows that he is somewhat different than most entering the pros.
“I’m 32. People are going to ask questions,” he acknowledges. “But I’m looking forward to it. I’ve put a lot in the last couple of months.”
“I’m boxing all my life and the pros were always a dream but when I hit 29, 30, I thought I’d leave it.”
“I was coaching in my local club, helping run it, and in the last couple of months I’ve just wanted to get back into it and I’ve been training hard.”
“I asked my family about it, whether it was too late and the said ‘no, if it’s your dream, it’s your dream’. You don’t get a second chance’.”
Kenny will debut in a four-rounder and that will be enough of a pro apprenticeship for him.
The Northsider is one of numerous new pros to come from Jay Byrne’s semi-pro shows in November 2016 and February 2017. Others include BUI Celtic super featherweight champion Stephen McAfee [3(2)-0-1], Karl Kelly [1(0)-1(0)], Aiden Metcalfe [1(0)-0], Martin Quinn [2(1)-0], Chris Scuvie [1(0)-0], Dylan McDonagh [2(1)-0], James Cahill [2(0)-0], and upcoming debutants Martin Wall and Eddie Treacy.
Kenny wants to move quickly into domestic bouts, much like his manager Byrne and many of the semi-pro influx, and is not one for building a padded record.
“One fight and then straight away after that I’ll be ready to go,” he declared. “I’ve sparred them all, I’d know every one of them.”
“I’m confident, one hundred percent, and that’s why I’m looking forward to it.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)