The Olympian wants to become the city’s next Irish star and plans to do it with the last Irish man to take over the city in his corner.
The Dubliner, who hasn’t stepped through the ropes since the Tokyo Olympics, aims to enter the National Elite Championships in January, prove he is over a shoulder injury, and then turn over across the Atlantic in February.
The Dublin Dockland’s super middleweight tested the waters in America last summer, where he trained with Duddy, and is now intent on trying to emulate the Derry fighter turned actors’ fight success in the city.
“I went over to New York, spent 10 weeks over there to try suss things out,” he explains when speaking to Irish-boxing.com.
“It’s a great city, a great boxing city, and plenty of Irish people over there. I wanted to go over to see if I like it and see if I can sell tickets, because there is no point in a great city if you can’t sell tickets, professional boxing is a business at the end of the day.
“I think I’ll sell tickets, I seem to be quite popular over there, and a lot of people want to get behind me, which is great again. The plan for me is potentially to live between Ireland and New York and fight out of New York.”
The Olympian revealed he was offered promotional contracts while he was stateside – but elected against signing them, confident he can secure better terms if he gets a few wins under his belt.
“I was offered contracts over there, not good enough for me to sign, so that had me thinking of plan B and plan C. Initially, for the first six months, I’m going to go unsigned, try to get on a few shows. If I am selling four or five hundred tickets I’m worth a lot more to a promoter and they can see the value in signing me. That’s what I’m thinking at the moment.”
The popular Olympian is hoping to team up with someone who knows all about selling tickets in the famous city. All action Duddy captured the Irish community’s hearts in New York and made Madison Square Garden a home away from home when he was fighting in the 2000s.
The Dublin Docklands graduate wants the Derry man to show him the ropes in and outside of the ring.
“Coaching wise I did a little bit with John Duddy and he seems to be on board. I’d like to have him as my coach because he is Irish, he has a similar style to me and he’s a really nice person. He is very very passionate, that’s what I got from him straight away, he has that strong Derry accent, and if you look at him boxing he was a warrior, something similar to the way I see myself.
“It’s not a done deal with me and him but I definitely want to chat with him again. He was the last Irish big name to do in New York, he was a middleweight and I’ll be super middleweight, John Duddy 2.0!”
The 31-year-old Dub is heading to Dublin just when things look like they will pick up at home. If they do indeed take off, he says he has no issue fighting at home and seems open to fight with big names in and around his weight but America is the dream for now and the Credit Union won’t be getting a call to support a pro journey.
“I’ve had this thought in my head for the last few years of New York, but boxing could start to kick off back in Dublin and if it does start to kick off I’d have no problem boxing here. At the moment there are not a lot of shows, not a lot of tv shows here. You have to be on TV to be making a living out of the sport, and for me, at 31, it’s about making a living. Boxing’s not going to cost me anymore money. There are no more loans, there is nothing like that! I’m in the sport now to make money via fighting and via sponsors and I think there is a higher potential to do that in New York.”