Martin Keenan – “Dean Gardiner better watch out, because I’m coming for him!”

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Hard-hitting Martin Keenan closed the show at the National Stadium on Friday night, taking home the Senior (Intermediate) super heavyweight title and announcing himself as a real contender in the Irish big man division.

The Rathkeale BC fighter overcame Damien Sullivan of Emerald Antrim in a slugfest, bludgeoning his way to a unanimous decision win.

A joyous Keenan spoke to Irish-Boxing.com afterwards and described how “it feels wonderful. I was unlucky last year so this year I really made sure of it.”

“The first round was really a feeling out process, second round then I started going heavier, then in the third round I pushed on to make sure of it.”

“I just felt like this year was my year and, thanks be to God, with Rathkeale Boxing Club, and all the coaching and all the staff, and all my family and friends, I just had it in me to do it.”

The likeable Limerick fighter, one of four Treaty County winners on the night, paid tribute to his opponent and stated how “Damien Sullivan is a lad that I have a feeling will do very well next year, if not win the championship.”

“He was strong, he was able to throw, and he was quick at moving for a super heavy – but at the end of it I just had too much power and too much technique for him. Thank God it worked out.”

Hugely confident, Keenan is ready to quickly build on last week’s win, and is already eyeing the #1 spot on the island. He outlined how “the plans now are to go to the under 22s and then I’ll hit the Seniors [Elites] – so Dean Gardiner better watch out, because I’m coming for him!”

“When you’re fighting against a lad from Rathkeale Boxing Club, you’re not getting an easy fight no matter what. My brother Davey Keenan is another up-and-coming boxer who’ll be up here soon too.”

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