“He has no pedigree”
“He’s only a kid”
“He’s fighting opponents that don’t throw back”
“He’s not a genuine top-level prospect”
Ryan O’Rourke hears the talk and he is giving his answers in the ring.
The Dublin light welter scored his eighth professional win in 18 months at the weekend and people are starting to sit up and take notice.
O’Rourke dominated tough Dutchman Wilson Mendes on the All Eyez in Brussels 2 card in Belgium, making a mockery of pre-fight predictions that there could be moments of peril.
The 22-year-old showed both strength and substance to easily negotiate eight rounds with a relentless opponent – but it was no surprise to him.
I’ve always believed I am a genuine prospect from the day I turned over,” O’Rourke explained to Irish-Boxing.com.
“I’ve just being working away and waiting for everybody else to notice, which I think people are starting believing I am. With the ease I beat Mendes with after others saying it would be a very tough fight, I think people should start to take notice.”
Breaking down the eight rounds, ‘The Silent Assassin’ described how “I was pleased with my performance, I thought I boxed well.”
“I controlled the fight and boxed the way I like to box, which is in and out of the the different ranges long to short.”
“He was very tough, but we expected that – I don’t think he expected me to be as tough. He is a very aggressive, forward-thinking fighter and always on the front foot, but he didn’t have it like that against me.”
“I pushed him back and bullied him, and I don’t think he new what to do then, so he started to become very negative and messy and that’s when I knew I had him beat.”
“I was slightly disappointed that I didn’t get the stoppage as I felt I had him hurt a few times in there and might have gotten him out of there.”
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There was nervous energy in Brussels, but Star Boxing’s O’Rourke used it – along with a desire to prove people wrong.
The St Michael’s Inchicore man notes how “I’m not saying I didn’t get nervous, because everyone gets pre-fight nerves, if anything that geed me up, to put in an even better performance.”
“There was a bit of excitement about it , to prove a point, that I’m levels above this opponent that some are saying could be a 50-50 fight.”
“I’m taking a week or two off, finally, after back-to-back fights. Then I’ll be back in the gym and maybe back out end of September, I might even have a title by the end of the year.”