Killer Cillian rearing to go – targets Irish title

Over the past two years there have been an unprecedented number of boxers turning professional in Ireland and one of the stand-out names has been Cillian Reardon.

This interest did not come because of a huge amateur pedigree or sparring stories from gyms around the city. No, Reardon’s move raised eyebrows due to his ‘real’ job. The Stillorgan middleweight is the Head of Strength and Conditioning with Leinster Rugby and this equals plenty of column inches as well as some famous faces among his supporters.

However, in his three fights so far, all wins, Reardon has proven that he is no gimmick and will look to continue this streak on Saturday November 24th at Good Counsel GAA Club in Drimnagh when he fights on the massive ‘Celtic Clash 7’ card. Indeed, Reardon makes a very early step up to six-round fights on the show, far from the preserve of PR stunts.

Despite all this, the fight reports on the night will all make reference to Ireland’s test match with the USA at the Aviva Stadium which takes place at the same time. Some may get frustrated on his behalf but the laidback Reardon does not care and notes how “to be honest, it doesn’t annoy me. It’s the natural thing and I also get a lot of advantages from being associated with Leinster. You take the rough with the smooth in that regard but I think I am where I am at now on merit. I would like people to see me as a good boxer when I am in the ring and know me for that too but it is up to me to prove what I am capable of. I think that would be the case for any fighter not just one with my associations.”

While his name was not a regular one on the entry lists of amateur competitions, Reardon has a long relationship with the sport and the Steven O’Rourke-trained puncher has impressed with his skills and technique more than his physical strength thus far. The 31-year-old explained how “I have a long enough amateur career in terms of time, but I didn’t do much in it. I suppose a lot of people wouldn’t have known I have an amateur career behind me and I have been training with Steve for the last seven years. They only reason I haven’t turned pro in the past was I hadn’t enough time to put it all together. It was something I always had my eye on and we will see where we get to with it now.”

Reardon certainly has done all that has been asked of him in his opening three bouts, scoring a trio of points wins against comparatively tough opposition who have all held weight advantages over the Dubliner. ‘Killer Cillian’ has real ambition in the sport, evidenced by his planned step-up on November 24th, and the Southsider has goals he would like to achieve. He outlined how “I’m 31, I want to do something in this game that’s worth doing. It’s a bit of a sink-or-swim scenario for me so I’m happy to progress faster.”

“I want to be busy to first of all build a record but also to move toward more competitive fights in as short as time as makes sense. It is also about getting me the experience quickly so I can take those competitive fights. As a sort of realistic or medium-term goal, I would like to be an Irish title holder and take it from there. As a first step, I would like to win the Irish title in the next couple of years. I said after my first fight a realistic medium term goal would be to win the Irish title. I still think that should be the goal. I am not saying I should be jumping in with [Irish Middleweight Champion] Luke Keeler right now but I don’t think that level is out of reach.” 

“I have a lot of work to do, but that is the goal. Initially I got in and I said I would take it one fight at a time. I don’t know in terms of exact time frames when my time will be to be in big fights but we are working toward that goal for now. Boxing in Ireland seems to be gathering momentum and it is a good time to be involved in it.”
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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