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‘Stubborn little b*ll*x’ Senan Kelly completes unlikely comeback

The specialists didn’t take into account how much of a ‘stubborn little bollox’ Senan Kelly [2(1)-0] is when they told him he’d never box again.

Kelly ends a three-year absence from the ring when he trades leather in Scotland on Friday night, making a return that at one stage looked beyond unlikely.

The Pete Taylor trained welterweight injured his shoulder just before he was due to make a ‘Palmdale’ accompanied ring walk for the third time and has endured a nightmare period since.

In fact, it got to the stage where he was told to retire and that boxing again wasn’t going to be an option. However, the Kildare man stayed in the gym, stubbornly battled his way back to fitness, and now embarks on a somewhat unexpected chapter of a story that was meant to have ended already.

“It’s great being back,” he declares when speaking to Irish-boxing.com. “I never really took a real break. I’ve been working in silence in the background getting my shoulder right.

“I was actually told to pack it in by the surgeon but here we are 14 months later better than ever. He didn’t know how much of a stubborn little bollox I am!”

Speaking just after he weighed in and with the excitement of a fight looming, Kelly was able to smile but he does admit the time out was frustrating and the recovery extremely hard.

“Just before my third pro fight, I dislocated my shoulder for the first time. It took me about six months to find out what was wrong because the MRI told me that there was no injury. I jumped in sparring again and it popped out again. Then I saw a specialist in the Matter Hospital and I was told to get an MRI angiogram, which showed that I tore the labrum in two places, tore the rotator cuff and a ligament. So once we got the correct diagnosis I went and got the surgery done in the sports surgery clinic and went on to complete 12 months of rehab which was an absolute nightmare.”

The nightmare is over and Kelly is ready to live the dream again. Although sensibly he is taking this fight to re-introduce his body to all that comes with competitive action.

“This weekend really just want to get back into the ring and shake out a few cobwebs. Also to get the weight cut process down properly, get the rehydration process down, and feel how it all goes. Then we’ll decide if ill stay at welterweight or if I can make light welterweight,” he adds before revealing make up for lost time plans.

“I hope to get in for or five fights in by Christmas injury free. Then hopefully by the end of the year, I will be in a position to challenge for a Celtic title or Irish title.”

Discussing his more immediate future and this Friuday’sfight he says he wants to: ‘go out and have fun. If the knockout comes, it comes I won’t force it. I’ve learnt a lot being in the gym with Gary[Cully], Tyrone [McKenna], Sean [McComb] Paul [Ryan] Pete [Taylor] and Screamer we will see all that come Friday night.

“I’d also like like to give a big shout to my sponsors- Mark Murray the owner of The DPF Centre in Celbridge, Robbie Connolly the owner of The Ink Factory in Dublin City Centre and Sean Kenny from SRS Alert Fire in Blanchardstown. Without their help, I wouldn’t be here today.”


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years