Kelyn Cassidy delighted to prove progress with above-weight title win


Despite being a late starter in boxing, Kelyn Cassidy picked up a second under-22 title on Friday night.

Not only that, the Waterford man won at a weight above his natural class and against an opponent who previously won World Junior bronze and has stopped Cassidy before.

The Saviours Crystal fighter would put in a controlled performance to outbox Castlebar’s Sean Conroy and claim the Irish under-22 light heavyweight title on a richly-deserved unanimous decision.

It was a sweet win for Cassidy who explained to Irish-Boxing.com afterwards that “I boxed him four years ago when I started boxing and he beat me, he beat me well, he stopped me.”

“I had a lot at stake and I wanted to prove a point, that I’d come on leaps and bounds. I wanted to go in there and show that I’m progressing, improving. I was in-and-out, in-and-out, slip-and-slide, hit-and-not-get-hit. I’m delighted.”

The victory delighted a large section of the National Stadium, with Cassidy having brought a large crowd which included current pro Dylan Moran.

The appreciative fighter described how “I have a good support – good friends, good family – who follow me around to follow my boxing. It’s the best thing you could ask for and I appreciate every last one of them.”

“I’m delighted, I didn’t do it for myself tonight, I did it for them, for travelling all the way up. What makes me proud is seeing all of Waterford proud.”

Perhaps most impressive about the win is the fact that Cassidy usually operates at middleweight.

The 21-year-old Déise puncher noted how “I’ll be entering the Seniors but I won’t be in at 81kg, I’ll be going at 75kg.”

“I left it too late to cut weight here and I didn’t want to get ill or anything so I entered at 81kg.”

“I weighed in this morning at 77.8kg. I’m not an 81kg boxer.”

That said, Cassidy, if selected, is likely to feature at light heavyweight at the European Under-22 Championships in Vladikavkaz, Russia, in March.

Nevertheless, he remains confident of success having impressed at the same tournament back in 2017.

“It’s a second chance, yeah,” Cassidy said of the continental championships.

“The first time I was there I had two fights, a win and a loss, I thought I boxed well, my first time boxing internationally.”

“I got the experience and when I get out there now I want to give it my all. I’m up to the age now, I want to show what I’m made of.”

“I’m going out there for a medal, a gold medal.”

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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