While all the focus was on Joe Ward and possibly the most disastrous debut in Irish boxing history there was a successful Irish first innings to celebrate over the weekend.
Like one of Ireland’s greatest ever amateurs, Wayne Kelly made his pro bow on Saturday night.
The Darndale man’s first paid scrap didn’t generate anywhere near the level of hype of the light heavyweight world title hopefuls, in fact it all but slipped completely under the radar.
However, it remains an interesting story nonetheless. Indeed, some may call it an inspirational boxing tale.
Kenny traded pro leather for the first time at the age of 34 and won in Scotland on Saturday.
The Declan Geraghty Snr trained fighter, has been involved in boxing all his life, but has no amateur background to write home about.
Two years ago he approached Jay Byrne to help him achieve a goal of becoming a pro boxer. ‘The Negotiator’ helped out and got him ready to debut in the Summer of 2017.
He suffered disappointment early doors as ‘The Beginning Show’ he was slated to debut on was cancelled, but he didn’t give up on the dream.
Kenny finally debuted this weekend as he fought under the Sam Kynock banner.
The 34-year-old was one of three debutants on a Darren Tetley topped show which played out at the Lagoon Leisure Centre, Paisley, Scotland – and he registered debut victory.
The new to the game but not so fresh faced operator beat Gary McGuire over four rounds by a 39-38 scorecard.
Team Kenny plan to follow up the win over journey-man opposition with two more fights before he steps up to fight a Scottish foe possibly for a title.
Speaking to Irish-boxing.com before when he was scheduled to fight two years ago, Kenny was aware people would question his age.
However, he remained determined to live his dream.
“People are going to ask questions,” he acknowledges. “But I’m looking forward to it. I’ve put a lot in the last couple of months.”
“I’m boxing all my life and the pros were always a dream but when I hit 29, 30, I thought I’d leave it.”
“I was coaching in my local club, helping run it, and in the last couple of months I’ve just wanted to get back into it and I’ve been training hard.”
“I asked my family about it, whether it was too late and the said ‘no, if it’s your dream, it’s yourThe new to the game but not so fresh faced operator beat Gary McGuire over four rounds by a 39-38 scorecard. dream’. You don’t get a second chance’.”