Waterford welter Rohan Daté wants Irish homecoming to be the first of many

He thrilled fans at the same venue with an aggressive style and knockout power, now Rohan Daté will return to the National Stadium as a pro on Saturday night.

The Waterford welter has relocated to the United Arab Emirates but finally makes his homecoming this weekend, fighting on the ‘Celtic Clash 2’ bill in Dublin.

It’s a delayed Irish date for Daté who was due to box on the cancelled Táimid Laochra bill, but the postponement has perhaps worked to his advantage.

The hard-hitting Déise fighter told Irish-Boxing.com that “it [the fight cancellation] did have a big effect on camp as I had planned a lot around the first homecoming.”

“But I took a week away and jumped on the opportunity to fight again this Saturday.”

“I managed to get a lot of spars in in the last three weeks or so, so maybe it was the best thing really!”

Thankfully the buzz around his return has not subsided with a large crew still intending to make the trip to Dublin from Waterford, and Daté wants to make it a regular pilgrimage.

The St Paul’s man explained that “I still have my mates from the first one all raring to go this weekend so the response has been good again.”

“The disappointment with the first one let me down a lot but I am hoping to make more than one return a year now for fights.”

Recalling his time in the vest, Daté described his highlight as “probably winning the under 23 belt. it gave me a good platform into the Seniors.

“I was disappointed then going to the Europeans [U23] to lose out by a point but probably winning that was the main highlight – as well as some of the KOs I have under my belt in the Stadium.”

His Irish debut is obviously a special moment – but a job still has to be done first and foremost, and Daté wants to show improvements from his first two outings.

The 24 year old explained that “I had felt a bit sloppy in my last two fights just maybe not getting enough regular sparring and training in.”

“But since January on this year I have been training well and getting lots of rounds so I’m hoping to have a big performance for myself and everyone else watching.”

The card on Saturday is headlined by Eric Donovan, with further support from Mike Perez, Jay Byrne, Gerard Whitehouse, Stephen Carroll, Sean Creagh, Vladimir Belujsky, Carl McDonald, Allan Phelan, and Lynn Harvey, as well as debutants Regan Buckley, John Joyce, Liam Gaynor, John Corcoran, Stephen McAfee, and Keane McMahon.

Tickets for Celtic Clash 2 are priced at €15 (Under 15s), €30, €40, €45, and €55 (Premium), and are available from the boxers involved.

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Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey speak to Jason Quigley on Episode 5 of The Irish Boxing Show:

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