No exit ahead – O’Rourke believes his fighters will remain on the road

Shows in Ireland will be pole axed for a considerable time predicts Steven O’Rourke, so shows like tonight’s in Poland are the way to go argues the coach.

Fight cards in Ireland outside of Belfast have been sparse over the last few years, even before the pandemic brought around a total famine.

It’s anything but ideal for an emerging stable in Dublin, who are keen to fight and forge a pathway in the game, but those at O’Rourke’s gym have found alternative.

Seven Irish fighters take to the ring in Walcz Poland tomorrow night and five are from the Inchicore based gym.

Again it’s not choice number 1 but the only one they feel they have available to them.

O’Rourke, whose fighters have fought in England and Spain of late, also believes there is no exit off the road in sight.

“If there were fights in Ireland north or south we could build the lads up,” he told Irish-boxing.com.

“We could build there fan base up and build small hall shows into bigger shows, but that’s never going to happen not for along time.

“I don’t want to sit around waiting for the latest promoter to come in have a couple of shows then pull out again. We’ve been there and done that. I want my lads to be active on a permanent basis and that’s how it should be.”

There is a sense of regret surrounding the fact the stable can’t show the wares at home, but it’s masked by an overall feeling of excitement.

Victor Rabei, Ryan O’Rourke, Tony Browne, Tiernan Bradley and Aaron O’Reilly will all be in action from the O’Rourke gym, while Paul Hyland Jr and Dylan Moran will also trade leather.

Manchester native O’Rourke claims having so many in action has brought a real buzz to the gym. Activity rather than the whereabouts of that activity is what matters.

“The gym is buzzing with active fighters and that’s what any trainer wants. We are all pulling together and making this work.

“The gym never switches of, they all want to be successful and the mentality of the lads have gone through the roof. I have noticed they are more relentless in training and in sparring.”

With five fighters in action on Saturday it’s going to be a busy night for the coach.

He has no concerns revealing a plan is in place to make sure he has time to spend with all five fighters.

“On the night it will be busy but me and Connor [Slater] have planned the night out to T, so I can’t see any problems.

“Since linking up with Connor we have gone up another level in regards to planning and getting the lads out fighting on a regular basis.”

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com 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: editoririshboxing@gmail.com