Start with a bang – John Cooney predicts ‘explosive’ debut

John Cooney predicts he will register the kind of debut that will put his name on fight fans lips this coming Saturday.

The Galway resident makes his pro bow at the Onguardamar Arena in Alicante, fighting in Spain alongside Dylan Moran, Tony Browne and Vladimir Belulsky.

Not too much is known about the Steven O’Rourke trained fighter, but that is something he looks forward to changing this weekend.

Cooney is promising an explosive introduction: “I predict a explosive performance and if I smell blood I’ll end it before the last bell,” he told

“I believe I will create a buzz about my name after Saturday night I expect a impressive performance.”

Going into more detail as to why he believes fans will take to him, the tenth Irish debutant of 2021 adds: “They can expect excitement. I’m very strong very game and I love to have a fight. I have a good boxing IQ and a killer instinct.”

All Cooney’s amateur career played out in England, but he is currently residing in Galway and is the son of Irish parents.

In the vest he won five national titles at various levels and age groups and is an ABA and NABC semi finalist.

He explains: “I done well as a junior amateur, boxing in three Elite Nationals only to lose in semis to the winner. I had couple years off when I was 18, came back had a couple fights and had a bad injury when I was 21. This is my first fight back since.”

Cooney comes back as a pro and is delighted to be doing so. The Westerner is more than excited about his clash with  Cristian Abata [0-2(0)], who he fights over four rounds.

“I’ve always wanted to turn pro. It was always the dream and it just came about now. I linked up with Steven O’Rourke and felt like the right place to start my career.

“Words can’t explain what this means, this is a dream come true. I’ve always envisioned myself going pro from the momentum started boxing.”

The 25-year-old Ecuadorian, who mans the oppossite corner to Cooney on Saturday took his gym mate Victor Rabei the distance in September, the last time he fought.

Speaking on his opponent the debutant said: “I’m expecting a very tough guy who’s gonna make it as tricky as he possibly can.”

Beyond Saturday and his debut Cooney has big ambitions.

“The short term goal is to be as active as possible. Then next year start looking at titles, hopefully. The long term goal is to become number 1 in the division and beat the best there is.”

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: