Meet sensible and safe Ruairi Dalton- ‘The Rook’ predicts pragmatic ring approach

One of the more noteworthy character’s in Irish boxing is sensible mode ahead of his professional debut.

Ruairi Dalton enters the paid ranks with a reputation as a good fighter with the personality to spice things up.

Fight fans have been interested to see if the heavily tattooed cigar smoking renowned joker brings something fresh and even wild to the ring this weekend.

However, ‘The Rook’ is sensible mode and isn’t promising any fireworks once the bell goes.

The former Commonwealth Games competitor hints that he may provide something unique come ring walk time, but is adamant he will be safe and basic between the ropes.

It’s not that Dalton has mellowed over time rather he is able to separate the craic with the serious business of boxing – and having been out of the ring for five years feels he needs to keep things simple at the Ulster Hall Friday. Dalton is adamant the win is king and as a result isn’t too concerned about exciting.

“Hopefully [people see] a neat and tidy performance on Friday. I have been out of the ring five years so as long as I get the win. This one is about getting the W that’s all that matters,” he told

“If I have time to impress I will, but it’s mainly… be basic, stay safe and get the job done. It’s about getting the win and getting out of the ring as safe as possible,” he adds before hinting there might be some fun come ring walk time.

“I have a good ring entrance. You have to stay tuned. The crowd are in for a treat.”

Dalton is the oldest of three debutants on the ESPN+ and iFLTV streamed show and having something of a sabbatical from the game may be the most appreciative too.

“When you kind of go away from boxing you kind of miss it. You don’t really appreciate the game while your doing it, you appreciate it more as you get older if that makes sense.”

The Belfast fighter had announced he would turn over back in 2016 and was scheduled to debut  in Dublin on the Red Corner Promotions show at the National Stadium in November of that year.

However, he moved to New York and his pro plans were put on hold as he attempted to sort out US passport. Still whilst waiting he always knew he was returning to Belfast and boxing.

“I always knew one time I’d be home. Even when I was in New York and I had visa issues and waiting on a passport and that I knew i’d come home and fight. I just didn’t know when. I am very very excited about [Friday]”

Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: [email protected]