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Returning Quinn reveals reaction to being told he’d never box again

If there are tears post Conor Quinn’s out-of-the-blue step at the Europa Hotel Saturday night it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s suffered defeat.

Such are the emotions surrounding his four round clash with dangerous late replacement Darwin Martinez, that some of his supporters may need the tissues as soon as the first note of his ring walk drops.

but be assured Conor Quinn’s ring return this weekend is much bigger than that.

In fact, such are the emotions surrounding his four round clash with Darwin Martinez [ , both the fighter and his supporters will be forgiven for celebrating with as much gusto as Eric Donovan if the Kildare man wins the EU title on the top of bill.

Saturday brings to an end a tough journey for Quinn, has had to battle and fight just to ensure he trades leather competitively again.

Having started his career with two wins in Australia, the 21-year-old returned home to Belfast two years ago and teamed up with Mark Dunlop. The fighter who last saw action in February 2020 had big plans and was ready to start a British title assault.

However, brain scan issues prevented him from fighting. The scan, which is part of the medical process required to gain a British Boxing Board of Control licence, uncovered an unexpected issue, and Quinn was informed he would never fight again.

The entertaining flyweight refused to believe that to be the case and fittingly elected to fight the ruling, kept training, and now having sorted any potential complications has been given the all-clear. It’s all lead to him making what promises to be an emotional return on Saturday.

“Emotions are wild. I’ve been boxing since I was six years old and then for three years I wasn’t allowed to do it. I wasn’t allowed to fight or compete. I was basically told the chances were quite high that I’ll never be able to compete again,” he explains to Irish-boxing.com.

“People thought I was crazy when I was still training every day and still pushing myself when realistically there was no fight date coming anytime soon. So when I got the call and got notified that I had received my licence and Mark told me I was boxing on this show it was just an unbelievable feeling. I’m buzzing for it.”

It is a massive turnaround, ‘The Magnificent’ goes from being told he will never fight to on the verge of a TV broadcast Irish debut. Although throughout his time outside of the ring, the Mark Dunlop managed little man refused to give up hope.

“I remember when they told me I wasn’t able to box again, my reaction was just a simple ‘I’m not listening to them. I don’t really care what they say’ because I knew that wasn’t true,” he adds.

“I knew I would be boxing again. Everyone else, my family and friends, obviously have to see it from a health perspective and they just think health comes first. Dee [Walsh’s] reaction was the same as mine.”

Although he showed stubborn resolve, the exciting Dee Walsh trained prospect admits there were some hard times, times where he had to lean on his support group to keep going.

“It was very hard, especially the last couple of months. At the start, it was ok because you are waiting to see how things go and you’re training every day hoping that you’d get a bit of good news. Then as it drags on it gets harder. It was more at night time, I’d sit with my girlfriend and I’d say ‘what’s the point, should I get up and go training in the morning’. She’s always encouraged me to get up and go. After I went training and I did my session with Dee and Sean [Crowe] that would give you another couple of days of motivation.”

Quinn wants to repay those who provided support through those tough times and he assures them they will have more than one victory in the Europa Hotel to celebrate over the coming years. The Clonard ABC graduate is confident he will bring his fans on a journey to the top.

“I’m not in this now for the fun of it. Dee and myself believe we can go to the top and we are going there together. Dee reminds me every day about what we are going for and where we are going to go. It’s just brilliant to have him and Mark and Sean Crowe and my sponsors all on the same page. We don’t have a ‘let’s see how far we can go approach’, we believe we are going straight to the top.”


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