‘I’m ready to go to war’ – Ryan O’Rourke ready for high-risk low-reward outing

Ryan O’Rourke [7(1)-0] is about self development not self promotion.

Speaking ahead of his eight-round fight on the All Eyez on Brussels 2 card the young Dubliner explains his reason for taking tough tests so early in his career are learning-related and have nothing to do with trying to get credit from those outside looking in.

The 22-year-old takes a massive step up in Belgium when he fights Wilson Sanchez Mendes [2(1)-1(0)-1] this Saturday, competing in a clash that in more common boxing parlance is high risk and very low reward.

The Star Boxing light welter takes on a kickboxing convert unknown to all but the hardest of hardcore boxing fans, and someone who 99.9% of people will expect O’Rourke to defeat handily.

As a result O’Rourke won’t get praise for beating what in reality is a teak-tough and aggressive test of note.

However, the fighter, who is trained by his father, isn’t searching for praise and isn’t concerned with public perception.

O’Rourke decision to fight the Dutch fighter is pure selfish. He wants all Mendes can give so he can bank experience and develop as a fighter, making sure that when he is thrown into big-time action he is ready in the process.

“Whether people give me credit or not I’m still going to be taking these fights, because these are fights that will only do me good for the future of my career,” he tells Irish-boxing.com.

“You don’t want to step up to a big fight or a title fight and find yourself somewhere you’ve never been before, or to find yourself feeling like you’ve never felt before, so these tough fights at the start will only do me good in the long run,” he adds before explaining how the fight came about.

“I ended up fighting him because my first opponent [Brice Bula Galo] ended up getting a Belgian title shot and Tiernan [Bradley] ended up not on the card , so with me not having an opponent and wanting a tough opponent it just made sense.

“It was easy to make as we were both training to be on that card anyway.”

It’s a potential banana skin that fell into the path of O’Rourke but it wasn’t a banana skin he ever intended on kicking further down the road.

“No definitely not,” he responds when asked whether he had opponent concerns. “I don’t tend to think much about my opponent I just focus on myself and what I’m doing.”

While he tends to focus on himself, O’Rourke is not ignorant to what is coming his way Saturday. The early days pro has done his Mendes homework and expects his toughest test to date.

“I know he’s an aggressive come forward fighter and he’ll try and press the action, but we’re ready for what ever he’s gonna bring to the ring. He’ll definitely be my toughest opponent to date , but I look forward to it,” he continues before giving a simple prediction.

“Me winning!”

“I see me boxing to my strengths, and if I need to dig in, I’m ready to go to war for eight rounds as always.”

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com 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: editoririshboxing@gmail.com

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