High Stakes for Niall Kennedy ahead of Boston Dream Fight


It’s all or nothing tomorrow night for Niall Kennedy [11(7)-0-1] in Boston.

The Wexford heavyweight takes on Brendan Barrett [7(5)-0-2] in a battle of the undefeateds at the TD Garden on the big Matchroom USA DAZN show and the 34-year-old knows he is just one defeat from disaster.

Kennedy was held to a dubious draw last time out by Joel Caudle and, while he has put that defeat in his rearview mirror, the Gorey Garda can’t afford any slip-ups against an opponent who is also looking to launch his career.

The Murphys Boxing man told Irish-Boxing.com that “I’ve a clear mind, the last fight can’t be changed, I can only look out for what’s coming ahead of me now.”

“Every fight’s a stepping stone and the last fight I didn’t step over the stone or fall over the stone, I just stayed on the stone so now it’s time to step over it.”

“Look, I’m 34, I have to treat every fight as a world title. If I’m losing now, I’m wasting a lot of people’s time.”

“Murphys Boxing are putting a lot of money into me, Paschal [Collins, coach] is putting a lot of time into me, I’m putting massive amount of time in myself, I need to start seeing returns from it now for it to be wothwhile.”

“I’m treating every fight for a world title fight because if it doesn’t work out, listen, I’ve tried, and I won’t have any regrets.”

While there is plenty on the line, and big fights in the offing should he win tomorrow, Kennedy is wary of overlooking Barrett.

The Celtic Warriors man noted that “everything’s always about ‘the next fight’ or ‘the next step’ but I can’t look past this man. He’s unbeaten, very strong.”

“I’ve to get in there, perform, and showcase what I’m doing in training.”

“It’s all about bringing what I’m doing here to the ring and performing. It’s now or never, sort of.”

Analysing his upcoming foe, Kennedy described how “he’s small, he’s 5’11”, which brings its own difficulties, I’m working on a lot of things around that.”

“He’s still a big man though, he’ll probably be a stone or a stone and a half heavier than me, a big, tough man.”

“Strip it all back though, if I box to my ability it should be enough.”

There are high stakes, of course. There is pressure, of course. However, Kennedy is still hugely excited about his first ever arena fight.

“It’s massive,” said ‘Boom Boom Bas’.

“This is what dreams are made of and if I don’t get a little bit excited about this I’m wasting my own time!”

“You have to enjoy these moments in life, there’s enough shite going on around us.”

“I’m living my dreams here and I’m going to chase it with both hands and choke the life out of it.”

Photo Credit: Eoin Lúc Ó Ceallaigh

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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