LA bound teen pro had to break his mother’s heart in order to repay her sacrifice

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It’s a story that could read like your typical mid 20th century emigration yarn.

A teen trading Cork and Ireland for a America because of the lack of opportunities on the island and a young adult moving Stateside in a bid to better the fortunes of his family.

Ireland’s youngest professional fighter beamed what is becoming a familiar smile alongside Ken Sheer in the photograph used to officially announce his link up with LA management company Sheer Sports.

The recently turned 18-year-old, who debuted before he took his Leaving Cert, had every reason to be happy having achieved his dream of becoming a full time pro.

However, he won’t find moving away from home to relocate to the sunnier climes of the American west coast wasn’t easy. Indeed, there is a slight suggestions Power would have preferred to have explored the early part of his career in Ireland with the comfort blanket of his mother and younger sister within reaching distance.

The climate in Ireland doesn’t allow for that easier option to be taken and certainly doesn’t allow Power to fulfill his ‘full time’ dream whilst living at home.

Power is adamant if he is to be a success in his chosen career his only option was to leave Cork.

Some may argue that the teen isn’t doing to bad at home, particularly in terms of activity, profile and progress. He has five fights under his belt, four of which came at a time where most of his peers wouldn’t even consider taking up a part time job and most of his fellow boxers are attempting to win underage titles.

Not only has he been active, but his exploits have ensured national press and TV coverage, which would suggest sponsor heaven.

However, he argues his career to date from training to trips to Mexico and Hungary to fight have been funded by his mother, which is something that isn’t feasible moving forward.

As a result the young Irish talent suggests the only way he could repay a decade worth of sacrifice in terms of his mother was to break her heart and move abroad in his first year of adulthood.

“This is a move that must be made in order to continue to do this sport,” Power says getting straight to the point when speaking to Irish-boxing.com.

“I’m not one to half attempt something and my situation at home in Ireland is far too unrealistic to pursue this sport. For the past 16 months, I’ve trained myself Monday to Friday, and traveled to Dublin every weekend to be coached by Declan Geraghty, and Pete Taylor more recently,” he adds before talking about a more emotional element to the move.

“Despite what everyone may believe, this wasn’t an easy decision for me to make. For the past couple of months, I’ve really struggled with the idea of leaving home. You’ve got to realise that it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.

“Yes, this is the opportunity that I’ve dreamt about for my entire life, but in order to accept it, I must leave the people that I love and the place that I call my home. I’m still young and in the coming weeks, I will be moving to the other side of the world by myself.”

First and foremost Power leaves behind a mother and sister he is very close too.

Leaving that kind of environment and support would prove hard for the majority of teens, but Power points out he is doing as much for them as himself.

“The one thing that bothers me most of all about my decision to turn professional so young, is the amount of pressure that I’ve selfishly put on my mother.

“That woman has done far too much for me – she has funded my entire career up until this point, drove me to and from training 11 times a week, in addition to travelling to Dublin every weekend, without fail.

“I am truly blessed to have her in my life and honestly don’t know what I’d do without her support. This move eases her of that pressure and I’m just hoping that somewhere down the line, I’ll be in a position to repay her and my sister in some way.”

There is a twinge of sadness when Power discusses what he leaves behind, but that’s not to say he isn’t overjoyed to have signed pro terms with a company that work with Jason Quigley, Aaron McKenna, Stevie McKenna and Bret McGinty.

In fact Power feels like he has just won the lottery. He is realizing a boyhood dream by just becoming a full time pro and he can’t hide his excitement.

“How excited am I?”…This is all I’ve dream’t about since I first stepped foot inside a boxing club at just nine years old. This is all I’ve ever wanted, so you can bet that I’m excited,” he beams.

“Boxing has been my entire life. It’s all I’ve ever known and now I’ve been given the opportunity to be a full-time professional boxer. This is another dream come true for me and a chance to continue doing what I love every single day of my life.”

Despite arguing – and correctly so – that Ireland isn’t overly conducive to a full time pro boxing career at present, the undefeated super featherweight notes the country did play a massive part in him attracting Sheer attention.

“I have to thank everyone in Ireland for making that happen. The amount of support that I’ve been lucky enough to receive since turning pro has been mind-blowing and fair to say, like no other.

“The Irish people made sure that a young kid from an incredibly small village in Cork grabbed the attention of so many people worldwide and for that, I am forever grateful,” he adds before revealing he fit in with team Sheer as soon as he arrived for a trail period last year.

“Ken Sheer has given fighters the opportunity to relocate to America, so when he told me to come over to LA last summer to meet him and his team, I didn’t hesitate. As soon as I landed, I instantly gelled with everyone and we really hit it off. ”

Power will now relocate to LA and train under Courage Tshabalala. The plan for this year is to get busy and possibly attract the attention of one of the big promoters.

“I trust that my team will keep me busy fighting on a regular basis now and will also open the right doors for me in terms of promoters and opportunities. Once we get the ball rolling, I want to stay as active as possible and fight as often as I can.”

dpg

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