“Basically professional” Kane Tucker ready to reap the rewards of full-time boxing

Kane Tucker is going all-in as he looks to make it big in boxing.

The Newry middleweight recently changed clubs and has finished up in school in order to focus fully on his training.

The success continues to flow in the ring for Tucker, and the Commonwealth Youth Games silver medalist took home his eighth Irish title at the weekend, defeating Jack Lawlor of Thurles on a unanimous decision.

The 17-year-old may be a winning machine, however he still savours every single win, explaining to Irish-Boxing.com how “it’s getting harder and harder each year so it means more and more each year.”

“I fought him [Lawlor] last year in the all-Ireland final and he’s come on a good bit since then. It was a good fight, I enjoyed it.”

“They all bring their game up whenever they’re fighting me. Whenever I watch them in the semi-final, they always fight better in the final.”

These were Tucker’s first championships under his new coaching team of Gerry Storey Senior and Junior at Holy Family GG in North Belfast, and the youngster hailed his new team.

“They’re brilliant coaches,” he said. “They both have their own wee things that bring me on. Gerry [Senior] is a very nice man in general and helps me a lot. He was one of the main reasons I got that Irish title, he got me through it. A couple of times I didn’t know what to do and his instructions were class in the corner.”

“When I was throwing the jab I was getting caught too much and he told me the slightest wee thing in the break, just to move my feet a wee bit closer because I was feeling off balance. After that I felt good, the second round I won well and in the third round I gave him a standing count. I won the fight comfortably.”

“I’m only after moving clubs there to Holy Family – I was with Holy Trinity – so it was good to get the first win out of the way because I’m only getting used to the club and to the coaches.”

Making a 125km round trip multiple times a week for training, it’s plain to see that Tucker is taking boxing seriously. Indeed, so seriously that he has dedicated his life to the sport.

The talented teenager described how “I took off school. I’m full-time boxing now, flat out.”

“I have felt a massive difference, in my strength as well. Because I’m not in school I have extra time for strength and conditioning and I’ve so much more rest time. I’ll go to training, then I might go for a sleep for a few hours, then go back to training – it’s a big difference.”

“You sort of need it. I think you need to choose one or the other and then give one hundred percent to whatever one you choose. I think I made the right decision.”

“It’s basically professional. I’m not getting paid as much, but I’m still doing the same amount of training as they would, I’m still giving the same amount effort. But, it’s what I love to do, it’s not ‘work’.”

Next up for Tucker now is the European Youths in Italy this May. A veteran of two continental championships – winning bronze in the Euro Schoolboys back in 2014 – as well as his Commonwealth Youth silver in the Bahamas last year, Tucker is confident of medaling in Roseto.

Now in his second year at Youth level, Tucker outlined how “I’m going there for gold, I’m going there to win.”

“I think I’ve grown into the 75kilos. At the Commonwealth Games I didn’t feel like I was at my right weight, but now I feel strong at the weight and I feel good.”

“You can always improve, there’s always something to improve on, you can always go one better.”


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