O’Rourke’s fighters not interested in stepping back to face Senan Kelly

Ryan O’Rourke [7(1)-0] hasn’t worked hard and progressed his career over lockdown to step back and fight a fighter with two four-rounders under his belt.

That’s ‘The Silent Assassin’s manager’s straightforward response to the Senan Kelly [2(1)–0] call out.

Kelly name-dropped O’Rourke Gym’s trio Aaron O’Reilly [0-1(0)], Ryan O’Rourke, and Victor Rabei [10(2)-0] this week, sparking an entertaining online back and forth as a result.

Conor Slater doesn’t manage kickboxing convert O’Reilly but does guide the career of former BUI Celtic champion Rabei and young Dub O’Rourke.

The fight maker doesn’t feel the need to explain in detail why a fight with Kelly is a non-runner for ‘Slick Vic’ but does go into why it doesn’t appeal to the ‘Silent Assassin’.

Slater says O’Rourke has managed to stay busy during the lockdown while working his way up the ladder and positioning himself in title frame.

Like Rabei, the Star Boxing fighter is said to be America bound and in line to fight for a title in the Autumn. With big fights in the pipeline, what would either gain from fighting the Pete Taylor Leixilip fighter asks the Slater Sports Consultancy boss.

“I haven’t kept my guys busy, and built them up properly to take on 2-0 guys. We are going through the levels and at this moment despite turning pro 6 months after Senan, Ryan has gone on leaps and bounds, and will have had four times the amount of fights as Senan, has a promotional deal, and is on the verge of a first major title fight,” he adds in a calm straight to the point manner.

The manager also believes both he and his fighters should see the call out as a compliment. He suggests Kelly is trying to latch onto their achievements to further his career.

“It shows me I’m doing my job right to have prospects calling out my guys, and it’s a sign that Ryan perhaps isn’t a prospect anymore. People are viewing him on a pedestal.”

Slater was keen to make clear he had no issue with Kelly or the call out – and went as far as to offer him some advice.

“Tony [Browne} is friends with Senan, so he must be a good lad, and I wish him well. I’m sure he can be involved in some good domestic fights, maybe [Aaron] Gethins or someone like that.”

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