This time 12 months ago we were celebrating a rare Irish boxing Cinderella story.
It looked like the fairy godmother had delivered as former amateur legend Roy Sheahan achieved in one night what some of his domestic counterparts hadn’t managed in 10 year careers.
The Lilywhite who returned to boxing, turned pro and got one win under his belt went on to win three times in one night at the National Stadium to claim top prize in the TG4-broadcast Last Man Standing tournament.
Sheahan beat Vladimir Belujsky, JJ McDonagh, and Jack Cullen on what looked like a career-changing night where he drew a bigger TV audience than Kell Brook, huge acclaim, and ‘won’ a €25,000 top prize along with a €1,000 knockout bonus and €5,000 for his amateur club St Michael’s Athy.
It got that big that a jubilant Conor McGregor was calling out the Athy man on social media and in the wider press were as keen to get a Sheehan interview as Prince Charming was to find Cinderella’s foot.
It all looked rosier than Gerry Daly’s well kept garden.
Just eight weeks after coming off the building site the then-33-year-old had proved he was more than capable at competing at domestic level.
A TV audience of over 300,000 and some massive press coverage post the win meant the fighter with undoubted pedigree had a profile that looked certain to work to his advantage.
Everyone was predicting the this was chapter one of a Kildare fairytale and it seemed the world wind nature in which he entered the pro ranks would continue in such a manner ‘The Joker’ would pull up trees hurricane style.
However, a year on and it seems the Last Man Standing was the first man down. The dream turned into a nightmare and while he isn’t officially retired Sheahan has only fought once since- and that was as a favour to close friend Ray Moylette.
Sheahan went from having the world at his feet to feeling like he had the rug pulled out from under them.
A long drawn out payment fiasco followed and the Athy fighter quickly became disillusioned with the business end of the sport.
Those trying to persuade him to strike while the iron was hot by fighting soon were dismissed by the puncher as he vowed not to trade leather again until he was paid up in full.
Indeed, he returned to the building site before he returned to the ring and that Mayo appearance, again live on TG4, wasn’t really earmarked as a back for good comeback by the former Athy BC amateur.
In fairness to the popular and talented fighter he has shied away from going public with regard to where he stands pro wise at the minute and it seems as if he is done with talking about all things payment.
However, from what he has said since Last Man Standing and in the build up to his December fight it appears the 34-year-old would only box on if he could become a full time pro.
Admirably the Kildare man wants to do it right believing he wouldn’t do himself or his followers justice if he was to tact on training around a busy work schedule- and circumstances at present don’t allow him to go full time.
With a young family to provide for Sheahan can’t commit to full time without promotional backing- and whilst promotional interest has been rumoured to be a plenty an offer tempting enough hasn’t been put on the table it seems.
So 12 months on and the fighter who lit up the National Stadium and homes around Ireland via TV is left in career limbo, while Irish boxing as a whole has really benefited from that TG4 broadcast fight night.