Dylan Moran impressed, Roy Sheahan looked as talented as ever, and Aaron Gethins enjoyed a dream debut, but the fighter with the strongest claim to have ‘stolen the show’ on the undercard to Ray Moylette’s Homecoming last Friday was Victor Rabei [6(2)-0].
The Dublin light welter scored a first-round stoppage of Antonio Horvatic at the Royal Theatre in Castlebar, dropping the outsized and overmatched Croat three times and wowing the TG4 commentators.
Bua ag @victorrabei3 taobh istigh de babhta 1!
— Spórt TG4 (@SportTG4) December 7, 2018
Victor Rabei — a sound man who in person would strike you more as a rugby school scrum-half than fighter — blitzes his Croatian opponent to claim a TKO1. Great yapper, very talented, always fun. Get him back on the telly!
— Gavan Casey (@GavanCasey) December 7, 2018
The extremely marketable Rabei is one who could benefit greatly should TG4 continue to broadcast boxing into the new year
Encouragingly, the cameras didn’t have an impact on the Rathmichael puncher who told Irish-Boxing.com afterwards that “it doesn’t feel different [to the rest of my fights].”
“At the end of the day, you’re still in the ring with whoever you’re fighting and you have to get the job done.”
“TV didn’t put any pressure on me – it was just a normal fight,” claimed the Steven O’Rourke-trained fighter who also paid tribute to the set-up on the night.
“It was fantastic, the show was sold out, there were so many people there. The venue itself is phenomenal – everything is pointed towards the stage, it was just brilliant.”
While the cameras weren’t an issue, the Assassin boxer admits to being a little star-struck on the night.
Rabei noted how Anthony Crolla was there, Jason Quigley was in the ring with me, Ryan Burnett was ringside, they were a few faces that I saw and it was phenomenal.”
“I look up to those lads when they fight and for them to be there looking up at me fighting is brilliant, I loved that.”
Reflecting on the quick-fire win itself, Rabei described how “I got it done in one, I’m happy with it.”
“I was just getting warmed up. For the first minute and a half, nearly two minutes, I was only throwing the jab.”
“I was hoping for a bit more [from Horvatic] but, as soon as I started landing the right hand it seemed to hurt him.”
“After the first time he went down, I switched to southpaw and it was a jab-backhand and that landed on the button and I don’t think he wanted anything after that.”
While he can’t say much about the future, there are big plans in 2019 for Rabei who is set to be built into a headliner and a TV star.
“It’s going to be brilliant, I’m looking forward to it,” he coyly added
Watch Victor Rabei’s interview with David Kelly in full below:
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)