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Sean Conway – “Everyone loves to see a chubby guy that can move!”

Saturday night in West Virginia will see the eldest of the boxing Conway brothers take to the ring for the first time in a year.

Sean Conway [2(0)-1(0)-1] however is a bit different to his brothers Matt and Mike.

Whereas the younger siblings box in and around welterweight, the rather chunkier ‘Tonka Truck’ can be found in the ring up at cruiserweight or heavyweight.

See, while Mike and West Virginia champion Matt are targeting glory, Sean boxes purely for the love of the sport. Indeed he has only fought once a year since making his debut in 2013.

Irish-Boxing.com spoke to the big man of Cork descent, and he explained how “my brothers are the active fighters out to make a name. I work construction and fight in the Winter when work slows down just because I love it.”

“And hey, let’s face it, everyone loves to see a chubby guy that can move with quick hand speed!”

“When I was in high school I fought at 125lbs and I moved very well. Now I fight at cruiserweight and heavyweight but I can still move very well and have good hand speed. I’d like to think my style is a mix between slick movement and Tyson’s peak-a-boo style. Rolling inside with big hooks but able to stick and move in the center of the ring.”

The crowd-pleaser fights on Saturday at the Wellsburg Firehall and, amazingly, he will be outweighed by over 100lbs in the ring. Following a late change of opponent, Conway is now set to face Michigan man-mountain Todd Welcome [3(3)-10(9)].

A daunting prospect perhaps, but one of the symbols of West Virginia is the mountaineer, and Conway is not phased going into the bout. He laughs at how “naturally when the opponent changed so did the game plan – but the plan now is simple, play the world’s biggest game of keep-away for a round or so, sticking the jab and moving to tire him out and look for an opening to attack.”

While 26 year old Conway isn’t targeting Deontay Wilder or anything, he wouldn’t mind a title, and the Appalachian Boxing Association Northeast title (fought over six rounds) would be plenty for him. Should everything go to plan on Saturday, he may get his chance, and he outlined how “I’ve had my eye on the ABA belt that my brother had fought for, the super cruiserweight [210lbs] title is vacant and could be a possibility in March, provided I win this weekend.”

A nice belt would be handy for some dinner table bragging rights within his close-knit family, and Conway describes how “we push and encourage each other to be better and always support each other win or lose – but absolutely everything turns into a pissing contest! Who has the belts, more trophies, knockouts, bigger crowds. It’s all in fun there’s never any real jealousy or anything, only motivation and encouragement to be better and do more. In the ring and out. My brothers and I are very close and this has always been a family sport for us, as well as our dad being the coach.”

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