Rhys Moran – “I truly believe in myself this year”


Waterford middleweight Rhys Moran is back at his best following a tough year and is aiming to retake his place at the top of Irish boxing.

The St Paul’s puncher claimed the first Under-18s title in 2016 and represented Ireland at the European Youths – however a wrist injury and subsequent surgery forced him to miss out on the second Under-18s and the World Youth Championships.

Moran, now an adult boxer, returned at the start of the year, but bowed out in his first fight at the National Under-22 championships – being defeated by Michael Nevin, the fighter who took over at middleweight in Moran’s absence.

Afterwards the Déise man posted a classy message and he does not argue the result whatsoever. However, the proceeding months have proven to Moran that he has plenty more levels to give in the new season.

Moran explained to Irish-Boxing.com that “I got beaten off pure talent in the Under-22s.”

“I was just going through a tough time, I wasn’t performing at all.”

“I gave what I had on the day but I knew I could have had a better chance at it if I had the quality sparring and training. I was only really back from hand injury and just wasn’t myself.”

His spirits were lifted over the following weeks, and he described how “I got a call two days after I got beaten and was asked to box against Bristol. I boxed much better and it brought my confidence up but I wasn’t quite there.”

“I got a call to box for Ireland two weeks after that in London and the excitement was something else, it was the feeling I had heading to the Europeans.”

“It was special, it brought me back to where I needed to be. I won over there, it was class!”

With a good end to his season in the bag, Moran has been training with a renewed vigour on the bubbling Waterford boxing scene.

The 19 year old outlined how “I took a break for a few weeks, went on holidays with my family to relax and rewind. It was well needed but as soon as I got back to Irish soil I was sparring Craig McCarthy. It was great to get rounds in with him.”

“I then got rounds in with Deano Walsh, and Seamus Cowman my top coach has been doing some great work with me, putting me through my paces.”

Moran, who flew over to London today for sparring, is feeling good ahead of a busy few months in the vest.

The youngster has come a long way since his Under-18 title win, and admitted that “I can honestly say I’m a totally different boxer.”

“My style is different, my power is getting there, I’m on form at the moment, I’m hungry, I’m on the hunt.”

“I’m really looking forward to this year!”

“I’m off to London for some quality sparring that, Barry Healy has arranged for me, it’s a great opportunity just before the Celtic Box Cup next week. It will be tough and rough but I’m telling you, that’s what I like.”

“Then my plans for the year are the Under-22s and Intermediates and, who knows, the Elites might get a crack – I’m good enough, I truly believe in myself this year!”

gym trition

frayne carpentry

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie