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Niall Kennedy driven by Santos win ahead of ring return

Two belts in the bag, a big name on his record, it’s sometimes easy to forget that Niall Kennedy has yet to hit double figures in terms of number of pro fights.

The Wexford heavyweight reaches that landmark tomorrow night in Boston, where he will look to go 10-0 on at the Plainridge Park Casino.

Kennedy [9(5)-0] co-headlines the Murphys Boxing ‘Christmas Party’ charity card in aid of the Claddagh Fund and Music Drives Us, where he will defend his New England title against Danny Calhoun and also look to add the minor IBA Americas belt to his growing collection.

The Gorey Garda claimed a major victory last time out, shocking Alexis Santos in the headline fight of a DiBella ‘Broadway Boxing’ card at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut.

While it was one of the Irish wins of the year, Kennedy is not one for sitting back and admiring his work. A few short weeks later he was over in Sheffield sparring IBF-WBA world champion Anthony Joshua and is now back in the ring just three months on from Santos.

joshua kennedy

Reflecting on the past few months and the Santos win, Kennedy explained to Irish-Boxing.com how “it only drove me on more.”

“Training has went well, we have worked really hard on trying to add more to my game and to tidy up on my mistakes from the Santos fight.”

“We were blessed with getting brought in to help Anthony which also helped me keep motivated.”

While the scale of this fight may not be as grand at the Santos title bout, Kennedy is not taking anything for granted.

Indeed, while his pro career has been undistinguished, Calhoun [6(3)-3(2)] was once ranked #2 in America as an amateur and has fought in the World Series of Boxing.

‘Boom Boom Baz’ outlined how “there is no small scale in heavyweight boxing and I’ve prepared as hard for this opponent as I did for Santos – actually, harder. He [Calhoun] is no mug.”

“I’m not at the level I need to be at yet but I’m going in the right direction – plus it’s another opportunity to fight for and defend a title

“It’s been an amazing year inside and outside the ring – more importantly outside with my little man flying, life is brilliant.”

“I’m fighting with a hunger and drive to make my family proud – which puts a smile on my face training.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)


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