The Hurt Game – Dylan Moran opens up about emotional anguish after KO reverse
‘American dream turns to nightmare’.
It was a simple and predictable line to come out with when Dylan Moran’s USA unveiling went pear-shaped in New York last weekend.
If only it was as simple as a bad dream for the extremely well-liked Waterford welter. You wake up from bad dreams and nightmares, open your eyes and the fear, panic, and pain is soon replaced by a warm relief.
However, as an open and honest Moran explains, that isn’t the case when a fighter suffers ‘nightmare’ defeat.
Once the haze of the heavy knockdown cleared and the 24-year-old effectively ‘woke up’ or revisited reality the fear, worry and pain were only beginning.
The Star fighter admits this week has been the toughest of his life. The reverse hurt him, the platform it was on and the manner in which it came made it worse.
The emotional pain of defeat far outweighs any physical pain that the big punching Keyan Dennis Okoth inflicted in a punishing third round.
It cut so deep that when Moran watched the fight back for the first time he wept uncontrollably.
“It’s been the toughest week of my life,” Moran admitted to Irish-Boxing.com.
“I watched the fight back for the first time the other night. I watched it on my own when everyone had gone away and the buzz had died off – and I burst into tears, I cried long and hard,” he adds with an honesty rarely seen in this the most macho of sports.
Boxers very rarely admit physical pain, it’s a taboo subject and emotional pain isn’t even a subject. However, not only was Moran honest enough to admit to shedding tears, he almost celebrates the fact he did.
For the Déise fighter it’s proof boxing is his passion. Each tear a sign, a conformation, of his love for the game and proof he is following the right path.
“That showed me what boxing means to me. It’s my life. It’s all I do.”
Yet, why there was pain and hurt to the point of tears there was no wallowing from ‘The Real Deal’.
Moran has just gone Stateside to fight live in front of promoters with links strong enough to secure him big fights and been stopped. It obviously hurt, but he is determined face the disappointment head on. Indeed he claims he is going to make the defeat work for him.
“It’s happened now and I have had to deal with it. I said to myself I can be better or worse off after this and that’s totally in my control. I’m going to make sure I’m better from this experience.
“Throwing myself on the chair, feeling sorry myself and wondering why me? That’s the easy option and that’s not me. Before you know it a few weeks have gone by and your overweight and depressed.”
“Accept life isn’t fair and it becomes that bit easier. I honestly believe this experience is setting me up and preparing me for bigger and better things.”
“Win lose or draw from day one I just believe I’m going to have a great career in boxing,” he adds before, in typical Moran fashion, he reveals he has to bounce back for others as much as himself.
“it wasn’t supposed to happen but it did. As much as I need to do it for myself there’s also a lot of people watching to see how Dylan Moran comes back from this. I’ll make sure and set a good example.”
The Kilmacthomas man is trying his best to remain positive and take what he can from the experience and points out how his support have helped.
The ‘sing when you’re winning’ boxing supporter is something that has been highlighted a great deal of late, but Moran suggests his ‘Real Deal’ ring moniker is one which also applies to his following.
“I always knew I had amazing support, but I really seen after that fight its bigger and spreads way further than what I thought”.
“I always say it, but it does mean the world to me. No message or call goes unnoticed. They said they had never seen anyone get reception like I did for their first fight over there it was crazy. It’s played a massive part in me dealing with this week.”
“I owe it to those people to get back to winnings ways and bring some belts back to Waterford. I’m more excited about the future then I have ever been.”