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‘Redemption’ Mission – New York debut is not just a fight for Emmet Brennan

Emmet Brennan is on a New York ‘redemption’ mission – although more so out of the ring than in it.

It’s not that the Dub has history or beef with Queens native, Devaun Lee, who he fights on BoxingInsiderÔÇÖs Sony Hall card on Thursday.

It’s more with the city itself he has wrongs to right. The Dublin Dockland’s amateur bit off more than he could chew when he first sunk his teeth into the Big Apple – and he returns hoping things taste sweeter this time around.

The BUI Celtic light heavyweight title holder got caught up in the lights when he went to New York looking to turn over on the back of his Olympic journey. It led to him giving up alcohol and forging a new focus.

“New York was the mecca of boxing when I first started,” Emmet told IrishStar. “I’ve always been fascinated with the city but when I came over after the Olympics, I did what probably 90 percent of Irish people do.

“I got trapped in a lifestyle of drinking, going out, and not living a life a boxer should be living. The city ate me up. I had to go back to Dublin to get my act together and giving up alcohol was a big part of that.

“Eight months before I went to New York I was at the Olympics on the biggest stage of all. I was on top of Mount Everest – I couldn’t get any higher – but eight months later I was drinking every day. I let myself down.

“There’s a lot of pressure on me not to go back down that road again but I’m past all that now. I’ve grown so much as a person and although 32 isn’t an ideal age to start my professional career, I’m living a good life and know I’m not going to make those mistakes again.”

Now back in the city and facing what would be deemed a test for any fighter with just two pro fights under their belt, Brennan is keen to impress.

In fact, it seems he wants to impress to the extent he becomes a fight regular in the city.

A second Katie Taylor undercard fight appeals and then he’d like to comeback to New York to fight Galway-born New Yorker Harley Burke in an Irish title fight.

“Katie Taylor was arguably the biggest show Ireland’s seen in the last 20 years so to be on the undercard again would be incredible. I don’t want to finish 2024 without fighting in Madison Square Garden, either, which will hopefully happen if we get an Irish crowd behind us.

“Two Irish boxers fighting in New York would capture the imagination of the Irish American community in New York. That’s why I’m here – to reignite my dream. It’s do or die. It’s now or never.”


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years