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‘Special Talent’ – Tiernan Bradley backed to ‘go all the way to the top’

Tiernan Bradley [3(2)-0] is a ‘special talent’ with all the attributes needed to reach the top’ according to an excited Conor Slater.

The Omagh fighter registered his third successive win since turning over in October, stepping up against Eduardo Valverde in Spain.

On a weekend, that saw fellow prospects Paddy Donovan and Pierce O’Leary register relatively eye catching early wins, Bradley’s victory didn’t quite play out under the spotlight.

However, when it comes to star quality and potential, Slater argues the Steven O’Rourke trained stylist is on a par with any early doors operators.

“This fella is going right to the top,” Slater told Irish-boxing.com

“I could tell from his temperament throughout fight week there was something standout about him. He looked like a seasoned pro and it’s astonishing to think that was his first time going past three rounds, and astonishing to see how relaxed he was.

“During the fight itself, he was brilliant. Someone asked me what I think Teirnan’s biggest strength is and I think at the moment it’s ring craft. You can’t buy that ringcraft he has. Knowing when to keep his distance, knowing when he has to apply pressure, turning his opponents, shoulder roll, catch punches it was a brilliant display.”

Slater has made the prediction on the back of Saturday’s win alone. The young fight manager has been impressed with the fighter’s desire and application too.

Bradley was always known as a young talent but Slater believes over the last year the Tyrone operator has shown the dedication and determination talent needs to ensure it becomes world-class.

“It’s all just been terrific. This is a fighter that was out of the ring for 3 years. 13 months ago he was 97kgs, which was just crazy to think. He made the final decision to pro over the summer, I knew him before that, but it was in July when we had a chat and in mid-August he said he was set and ready to go.

“We got him a debut for October, so he has only been a fully-fledged pro since August in terms of camp and training. To go from that to have three fights in five months is incredible.”

Having watched the 23-year-old’s progress since last summer, Slater felt confident to hand him a step up.

Valverde’s record doesn’t make for scary reading at first glance but the Slater Sports Consultancy boss is adamant he was primed to test Bradley on Saturday gone.

“That opponent’s last two fights involved a draw against an undefeated Matchroom prospect – and if the last week has thought us anything it’s hard for an away fighter to get a decision in the UK – which is astonishing. Then he had a good competitive fight against Dante Dixon, who has been tipped to be the next big thing by Matchroom, before being stopped in the last round.

“What is more impressive he would have got less than a week’s notice for those fights, we gave this fella eight weeks’ notice. He got the call just before New Years’. He was training from January 1 for this fight and came ready for six rounds.”

Slater believes it’s the level of opponent for a fighter further along in his journey and argues how Bradley handled the test proves his credentials.

“That was the perfect fight for him. Tiernan is only 23 and coming off a layoff, it’s not like he is coming out of the High Performance or off the Olympics, so that was a good early test for him,” he adds.

“That’s the sort of fight you have in your seventh or eight-fight. He proved on his debut how cool relaxed and experienced he is. You forget how much experience you get from going over to Russia, Australia in the Youth Commonwealths, and the likes.”

“There was a lot of Spanish managers there and they were telling me after Teirnan is ‘really really special’. He produced that kind of impressive display in what should have been a competitive fight.”

Photo credit Adrian Rubio @adrumor

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 sports for a living for over 20 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