Wayne Kelly made his way at the weekend into a first Senior Elite final in front of a large and loud travelling support.
The Ballynacargy man comfortably defeated the awkward Mozambican-Belfast boxer Bernaldo Marime at the National Stadium to book his place in the light welterweight final, suffering a cut on the scalp for his troubles.
Kelly spoke to Irish-Boxing.com following the win against the Holy Trinity scrapper and described how “it was my first fight since September, so I was getting the ring rust off there.”
“I felt comfortable throughout, picking my shots within range. He was tricky, he was tough, and I knew he was going to come launching at me with wild shots so I did well picking my shots.”
On the cut itself, the Westmeath 20 year old was relieved, and was thankful that “it’s not too bad, it’ll be okay for the final that’s the main thing. You do worry, I felt a bang on the head and I saw the blood, but it wasn’t that deep.”
In Friday’s decider Kelly will box Sean McComb, another Holy Trinity fighter, with whom he shared an entertaining spar as part of the Ireland v Russia test international last Summer. The talented Midlander was keen on facing three-time reigning champion Dean Walsh until the latter’s move up in weight, but he is still expecting a tough fight against the Belfast southpaw
Kelly explained that “I had been hoping on meeting Dean Walsh in the final but it’s Sean McComb there now, another tough opponent. I’ve trained with Sean for two years up in the High Performance, sparred a bit, and some boxing exhibitions against each other, we’d know each other.”
“I’m confident after that win [v Marime], getting the ring rust off, and I’m feeling good going into the final.”
Eric Donovan joins Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill on Episode 2 of the Irish Boxing Show: