“This is where I prove I belong” – International debutant Sean Mari targeting successful Euro campaign

Sean Mari has never hidden the fact that Paris and the 2024 Olympics are the main destination but is more than happy to enjoy some successful pit stops along the way.

The Dublin flyweight has travelled to Italy to compete in the European Under-22s, which glove off on Thursday, and is happy to target success on a country that isn’t France for now.

One of two Monkstown fighters competing in the international competition, alongside Jack Marley, has shortened his focus temporarily and goes into the tournament with more immediate success on his mind.

It’s about the opportunity that is right in front of the emerging talent and he assures Irish-Boxing.com that “I’m ready to grab this opportunity with both hands.”

“I’ve said it from our very first interview Paris 2024 is my goal and little by little I’m getting closer to that goal. But right now I’ve one thing on my mind and that’s the first bell of these U22s championships I’m not looking beyond that for now,” Mari continued before outlining his plans for the tournament.

“I’m hoping to go out and perform to the best of my ability, once I perform I am confident of beating anyone but my main goal out here is performance and we’ll see where we go from there.”

“I’m very confident going into this tournament preparation for it has been spot on and I’m feeling as sharp as ever. Raring to go.”

Considering Mari, a 2020 National Elite Champion, hasn’t fought since the Odivelas Box Cup in Portugal in late 2019 it’s hard to gauge what kind of form he enters the tournament in.

However, he explains he can take confidence from how well the Irish Senior team performed in the recent European Olympic qualifiers, particularly as the underage squad helped them prepare.

“I was training with the Olympic squad they were brilliant to be around and learn from. It’s a big confidence booster when you see the success that they had at the qualifiers and to know you played a part in that, just raised the morale of the whole squad completely, so we’ll bring the same mindset to our competition in Italy.”

Despite earning National Elite Champion status at light flyweight and being deemed a genuine Olympic flyweight hope, this represents Mari’s first major international tournament.

He is sufficiently excited and will realise a dream once he steps into the ring in Italy.

Mari described how “it’s an absolute honour to be selected to represent my country. It has been a dream of mine since I started. I wanted to earn and then box in an Ireland vest, it’s been a long time coming but I’m honoured.:

“I’ve always wanted the opportunity to test myself at International level and this is where I prove I belong. I am blessed to have such a great team around me my club coach James Doyle is also one of the Irish coaches on this trip as well as my mother Tara as Team Manager so I’m very lucky to have this opportunity,” he adds before revealing he was lucky to have a family steeped in boxing.

“It’s been tough not being around the club on a regular basis especially as Monkstown BC is like a family from the coaches to the junior class to the seniors we all gel so well and push each other on. I’m lucky as I had my father who is also a boxing coach at Nutgrove BC he helped me out a lot with training and pads during the tough times during covid so I’m very grateful to him.

Irish squad

51kg Niamh Earley (Ryston)
60kg Ellie May-Gartland (Clonmel)
52kg Sean Mari (Monkstown)
56kg Adam Hessian (Monivea)
63kg Dean Clancy (Sean McDermott)
69kg Kieran Molloy (Oughterard)
75kg Gabriel Dossen (Olympic)
81kg Kane Tucker (Emerald)
91kg Jack Marley (Monkstown
91kg+ Gytis Lisinskas (Celtic Eagles)

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com