An upset James Power [4(4)-0] was that eager to make his Irish debut in his home county this summer that he was willing to train through his Leaving Cert exams to make it happen.
However, at the present moment in time, the popular teen will not be fighting on the ‘Leeside Revolution’ card come July 22 because the offer put on the table was ‘nowhere near what he expected’.
Ireland’s youngest pro has been plying his trade abroad in places like Mexico and Hungry since turning over as a 17-year-old over back in September of last year.
The lightweight had to jet off to fight because BUI rules state you have to be 18 to trade leather on these shores.
Having come of age in April, the Cork fighter is now allowed drink if he so choices, but more importantly can hold a BUI licence and enter a pro ring in Ireland.
His ascent into adulthood coincided with pro boxing returning to the Rebel county for the first time in a decade and Power seems tailor made for the undercard of an Irish title fight between Macroom’s Noel Murphy and Dubliner Jay Byrne.
However, the fighter who would most likely bring national media attention to the card, claims the offer is as such he can’t afford to partake.
“Listen, I only got an official offer when I came home from school Friday. It really was upsetting to say the least, because I’d love to be on the card,” a hurting Power told Irish-Boxing.com.
“Unfortunately the offer that I received yesterday was nowhere near what I expected. Honestly, it’s just impossible for me to be on this card. I can’t afford it.”
Power claims the offer would mean him having to fork out more than it cost to fight abroad on more than one occasion – suggesting his only chance to cover costs was a 10% cut of his ticket sales.
“I don’t receive any funding for my career, I’m finding it difficult enough financially as it is. So having to pay for more than a few of my existing fights combined to be on the show and then to only receive 10% of my ticket sales is just unrealistic.”
It is heartbreaking for the youngster. Fighting in Cork this Summer was always on his bucket list. Indeed, earlier this year he called for a show in the city.
“Everyone knows what fighting in Cork would mean to me. It’s my dream! I’m the one who asked for pro boxing to return to Cork.”
“Anyone can see that the feedback and the response that I received from the Irish boxing fans was incredible. Everyone wants to see me make my Irish debut in Cork. It’s ideal.”
“It’s sad, because I know it would be a brilliant opportunity for me to show everyone in Cork what I can do.”
When the show was announced first there was radio silence from Power. Most assumed the July date may prove too close to his Leaving Cert exams so he had elected against appearing – others suggesting having fought just days before his Oral exam his Mother may have put a block on things.
However, the 18-year-old, who by all accounts is a model student, has revealed the Leaving Cert was never an issue.
“I know the show is very soon after the leaving cert, but I was willing to take that risk and grab the opportunity anyway. I would have been putting everything on the line and taking a huge risk. but I was willing to do all of that, just to make my homecoming in my hometown.”
While the Pete Taylor-trained fighter isn’t appearing he holds not grudges, the good natured youngster, who was ringside as a fan the only time Murphy fought in Ireland, wishes Martin Horgan and the ‘Leeside Revolution’ well.
“I wish the show all the best and hope it’ll be a success for all those involved. But I’m going to focus on my Leaving Cert instead and make my homecoming on a card in the near future”