“I need the fight!” – Roy Sheahan ready to shed the rust in pro debut

Roy Sheahan tonight becomes the first Irish professional debutant of 2018.

The amateur legend makes his first steps into the pro game at the famous York Hall in London in what is something of a debut with a difference.

Normally, boxers will not want to look past an opponent – however, ultradurable journeyman Jordan Grannum [2(0)-16(0)] and tonight’s Hellraiser card understandably is not the main thing on Sheahan’s mind.

The Kildare fighter, a four-time Elite Senior champion and EU gold medalist, is set to box in Ireland’s Last Man Standing at the National Stadium in Dublin on Saturday March 3rd.

The Boxing Union of Ireland, however, ordered Sheahan to get one fight under his belt beforehand to prove his capabilities, fitness, and to get a win on his record.

Regardless of the BUI though, Sheahan wanted a run-out before the big Prizefighter-style tournament and explained how “I was talking to the lads I was going to be going with, Assassin Promotions, and I told them: ‘If I’m doing this, I want the fight beforehand.’ I need the fight! I’ve been out of action for the last 15 months.”

“If I get back up to the level where I was, I’ll do well in this competition.”

While there is a fair degree of opportunism on the part of Sheahan – looking to come in and style his way to a top prize that is anywhere between €25,000 and €33,000, not to mention a further €5,000 for his amateur club St Michael’s Athy – the 33-year-old admits he holds genuine professional ambitions.

Asked if the tournament could prove to be his final of two pro nights Sheehan replied,

“No, if I win it and I do well, there’s more fights to come. More money.”

“It’s something I’ve wanted to do the last two or three years: just to go pro but, like, not to go pro to be a world champion.

“My mates, Eric Donovan and Davey Oliver [Joyce] – they’ve gone pro and they’re doing brilliant. And the support they have from the towns and all that… It’s amazing.

“I didn’t feel left out [watching Donovan and Joyce]. I was going to do it. If it was just one fight or two fights, I was going to do it, and hang up my gloves then – just to say, at least, ‘I went pro.’ Do you know what I mean?”

“It’s just something I wanted to do, and something I wanted to do for my kid. I have a young lad, and it’s just something to say, you know: ‘Oh, my father is going pro.'”


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