Rusty Ruairi Dalton back in the swing of things

It had been a quite some time since Ruairi Dalton had stepped through the ropes to fight and, as he noted after his debut, a while since he had seen his wife – here’s hoping he was able find his feet as quick out of his shorts as he was in them at the Ulster Hall on Friday.

The St James’s super bantam certainly looked at home in the ring as he ended a five year sabbatical and punched for pay for the first time on the #MTKFightNight.

‘The Rook’ out pointed experienced journeyman Jose Hernandez with relative ease, but admits the whole ring experience was a bit ‘weird’.

“It felt weird,” he admitted after his win.

“I texted Sean McComb earlier today and had to ask him what he has for a pre-fight meal because I kinda forgot. It was just great to be back in there and get the rounds.”

Before the clash the Belfast boxer revealed he was happy enough to keep things simple in a bid to get rounds under his belt. That’s how things transpired and he was more than happy with how the fight played out.

“I’m happy enough with the performance. I could maybe have done a wee bit more, but that will come as my career goes on.”

While he was happy to do things at his own pace the first time out the 28-year-old has no issues if things are to speed up from here on out.

“If MTK want to move me fast, then I’m happy to do that. I’m just happy to have got off to a wining start,” added the gangster-loving cigar-smoking character before reflecting on his support.

“The atmosphere was great. Coming from St James’, people come out to support you no matter what. It doesn’t matter if you’re ugly, good or. not, they will come out and support you. I was just happy to get rounds and start with a win.”

Part of that support was Dalton’s wife and father who came over from New York for the fight – and speaking after he was particularly grateful his other half was in town.

“My wife is here too, even better for tonight, it’s been a while!” he concluded with a joke.

Speaking after the bout Dalton’s coach and close friend, Dee Walsh, was also happy with how things played out.

“He played it safe out there tonight, boxing is about hit and not getting hit and he stuck to that today.

“You can’t really teach people to fight fighters that awkward. You have to learn that through experience. He took a few silly shots in there tonight, but he will learn how to deal with that over time. We had all the boxes ticked, you seen in there he boxed well going forward and going back.”

Jonny Stapleton 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: