Victor Rabei won’t force progress following another domestic win

Victor Rabei [7(2)-0] enjoyed the biggest win of his career on Saturday night – and certainly enjoyed it – but he is wary of rushing things.

The Rathmichael light welter defended his BUI Celtic title against Dublin rival Jake Hanney in the ‘Clash of the Titans’ chief support, his third all-Irish win of his short career.

A cagey fight, Rabei finished extremely strong and took a unanimous decision win on the scorecards.

It wasn’t the bloody war that some predicted but it was enthralling nonetheless and Rabei is happy with how his evening’s work went, live on TG4.

The Moldova-born Dub explained to how “pbviously there was a build up and it was on TV and I think in round six we had a bit of a go at each other, but I don’t look at all that.”

“At the end of the day, it’s me and my opponent in the ring and I’ll do whatever is necessary to win. If going to war is risk not worth taking, I am not going to go to war.”

“I hadn’t seen much of Jake before so I didn’t know what I was coming up against. I know for a fact, due to the nature of the bout, that he put in eight or nine hard weeks. I know I was in the back of his head driving him in training and I know he was coming to take my head off. That’s boxing, and people may have expected a war but it didn’t play out that way.”

“I enjoyed it. I thought I controlled the fight. He didn’t hit me with any shots of note. He landed a few clean shots, but they didn’t faze me. I don’t know where the power went.”

“After every single round I went back to the corner and I was listening to what my coach was saying. I was very in control and everything went to plan.”

There has been talk of a rematch – although maybe not immediately – and, while he wasn’t drawn on talk of a repeat, Rabei did note that there may be more in the rivalry.

The Steven O’Rourke-trained fighter said that “I am happy I got the eight rounds and it was eight good tough rounds.”

“Jake was bollixed after the fifth or sixth but that was to be expected, he has been out of the ring for two years. It would be very interesting to see what he would have been like if he was active.”

“I didn’t feel his power. To be honest Karl [Kelly] hit harder, not to discredit Jake in anyway. It’s a heavy shot but nothing more.”

“I have to thank James Tennyson for the rounds that was the first time I sparred some and he bangs. I knew coming into this fight from that sparring that I was ready for whatever.”

Analysing his performance further, Rabei feels that “I could have been busier.”

“Fitness-wise I was okay and I cruised through the eight. In the middle rounds I could have pressed a lot more. Jake was coming strong in the first few seconds of rounds and I should have answered straight away.”

vic rabei

Rabei is being built towards headline status in his own right and the charismatic 25-year-old acknowledges the path that he is on.

However, the Assassin starlet doesn’t want to rush things.

“I hope to [rise to be a build topper],” he outlines.

“That is my goal, it’s everyone’s goal, but I don’t want to jump to that. I feel like I have to take it step by step. There is still a lot of work to do in the gym. I am a little bit disappointed with my performance – but I’ll take a step back and review it.”

“This is just my seventh fight in and I am not looking to jump to far ahead. I have already won the Celtic, now I have defended the Celtic against a tough opponent. I think I delivered.”

“I sold a lot of tickets. Everytime I come to the Stadium I have a good support so I am really grateful for that.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)


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Jonny Stapleton 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: