“Jesus Christ that was embarrassing” – Niall Kennedy happy with recovery following ‘knockdown’

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Niall Kennedy [7(4)-0] admits he was embarrassed on Saturday when he was forced to take his first count as a professional boxer.

The Wexford heavyweight was adjudged to have been knocked down in the opening round of his fight with Gheorghe Danut at the National Stadium – although Kennedy points out that it was more push than punch that sent him to the canvas.

The Gorey Garda dominated otherwise, knocking down his opponent multiple times and scoring a fifth round stoppage, and is happy with his progression through the ranks so far.

Kennedy spoke to Irish-Boxing.com after the win and recalled the knockdown, saying “it was a push, I was completely square and fell back.”

“I thought he [referee Mickey Vann] was going to call it a slip, but he said a punch landed so I suppose he has to rule it a knockdown. I was there thinking ‘Jesus Christ that was embarrassing.'”

“I didn’t panic, that’s the main thing. I know my strengths, I’m a better boxer than most heavyweights, so I just stuck to my boxing and relaxed.”

“He was wild, he was coming in with the head, elbows, shots to the back of the head, but at least he came to fight.”

‘Boom Boom Baz’ also revealed that he carried an injury into the bout, hence it taking a full five rounds to finish off his Romanian foe. Kennedy described how “I done my hand in in Boston [his previous fight on October 15th], so that’s why I was working off the jab, but with a southpaw it was just awkward. That’s why it was taking a bit of time. We knew he was going to move so it was just trying to set him up for the left hook and the uppercut because I can’t throw a straight at the minute.”

Nevertheless Kennedy was happy with his seventh win, and feels he growing into the pro game more and more, detailing how “my power is coming along, that’s the best shape I’ve ever been in. The only thing is I need to bulk probably, put more weight on, but I’ve got to do it properly, I’ve started doing proper strength and conditioning.”

Going forward Kennedy is planning a return to the US East Coast and a title fight. He outlined that “the plan is an eight rounder in January for the Massachusetts State title, then defend that on Paddy’s Weekend, then move on to the New England title.”

Photo Credit: Laszlo Geczo Photography

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie