Martin Keenan – “I’m going to have to step up my game”

Big Martin Keenan knows he will have to take it to the next level in his first ever Senior final tomorrow night.

The Rathkeale super heavyweight will face Thomas Carty in the decider at the National Stadium, closing the sixteen-fight show. Keenan is confident that he will improve on his showing against Damien Sullivan in the semis, and that Carty will have to “go through hell” to beat him.

Keenan spoke to Irish-Boxing.com following his razor-tight split decision win over Emerald’s Sullivan on Friday night, and he described how “I felt I got it in the last round. The last round is what done it for me, and half of the second round. The first round was tight, the second round I started moving a bit more because I knew that, if I didn’t, he was going to push on, he had enough ability to do it.”

Giving credit to his tough Ulster opponent, who seems like one to watch with the Commonwealth Games coming up next year, Keenan admitted that “it was tough. Damien Sullivan was a worthy, worthy opponent and I have all the respect in the world for him.”

“He gave me a tough fight in the final of the Intermediates, and he’s after giving me a cracker in this. He’s going to go a long way, he’s young enough, he’s fit enough, and he’s strong enough.”

It’s all eyes on the final now for 23 year old Keenan, and he knows that he will have ratchet up through the levels if he is to take home the title. The Ennis boxer outlined how “I’ve a bit of momentum going into the final, but I’m going to have to step up my game because I felt myself there that I wasn’t doing enough and it could have gone anyway to be honest. It let me know that, if I want to win a Senior Championship, I have to press, and press, and press.”

“There’s no point in me running around, carrying on like I was, Damien Sullivan got some serious shots in on me there.”

“This is the biggest thing. There’s Europeans and Worlds on the line. I’m going to try my best, I have my family with me, my brothers, my sister, my mother and father, and my girlfriend. Rathkeale is the place to go if you want to win titles, it’s the best club in Munster if not Ireland.”

Keenan will face big-punching, big-talking Dublin hotshot Thomas Carty tomorrow night, and he is promising a tough fight.

“I’m confident,” said the Munster man. “My opponent, if he wants to win it, he’ll have to go through hell to get it.”

Eric Donovan joins Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill on Episode 2 of the Irish Boxing Show:

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