Headline NewsPro News

There is nothing corny about Cornelius says Virgil Hunter

Some Irish fight fans might be shocked upon hearing Con Sheehan refered to as ‘Cornelius’, but will be delighted to hear his new coach claim he will be a better pro than he was an amatuer.

The popular Tipperary man has proved the stand-out vested big man on this shores for nigh on a decade. collecting six national titles and representing Ireland in an era that included current pro prospects Sean ‘Big Sexy’ Turner and Niall Kennedy.

However, new coach Virgil Hunter claims the heavyweight, who makes his debut Stateside later this month, believes his fighter will adpat to the pro style and make even more of an impact in the paid ranks.

Hunter, who coaches Amir Khan and the fighter Irish fight fans have been trying to unearth an Irish granny for – Andre Ward, has been working with ‘Big Con’ for nearly a year now and has been impressed with his latest charge’s progress.

“Every coach has his own style and mine is old school from Texas,” Hunter explained. “Mine is slip ‘n slide and my fighters need good reflexes and good legs.  Cornelius (Con) isn’t a dancer, but he moves the right way, and I like that a lot.  I liked what I saw from the first time we met. He keeps himself in good shape and has a good amateur pedigree.  I teach a pro style, even to amateurs, and some like Cornelius are better as pro fighters.

Hunter isn’t predicting a whirlwind start for Tipperary’s latest Tornado. A new and more exciting era of heavyweight boxing awaits thanks to a host of fresh big blood and the fact Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder won straps in 2015. However the experienced coach wants Sheehan to learn his trade over a period of years before the big man even glances toward the big time.

“Cornelius is a strong kid. He’s made mistakes, but earlier in his life, and that’s a good thing. There’s always a transition period and it’ll take him a few years. He’s already proven his dedication by being here. If he keeps on track, fighting and training in the United States, he’ll get there in two-three years.  The heavyweight division is changing. This is like the time (Tim) Witherspoon, (Greg) Page, (Frank) Bruno and a few others would win the world title and then lose it right back, until (Mike) Tyson came along and cleaned up the division.  I’m particularly happy with his progress the last six weeks; Cornelius is focused on doing it, instead of just doing it.”


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years