30 August 2010
Having made the decision to end his own ring career, Jim Rock is now lending a helping hand to another Dubliner, Brendan Fitzpatrick as he prepares to make his pro debut on the Hunky Dorys Fight Night at the National Stadium on September 11.
The bill features a European title double header with Belfast’s Brian Magee defending his European super-middleweight crown against Roman Aramian while Kiko La Sensacin Martinez also returns to Dublin as he bids to recapture the European Super Bantamweight crown against Arsen Martirosyan.
Fitzpatrick will make his pro bow on the undercard having made the decision to install Rock and veteran Belfast trainer, John Breen as his co-managers and the man who was known as the Pink Panther during his own career says he will be happy to be watching the action from outside the ropes from now on.
My days in the ring are numbered but it’s an exciting time for Brendan making his debut and I’m delighted to be involved with him, said Rock who hung up his gloves having made history by winning Irish titles at four different weights. Rock will be working for RT on the night in his role as expert analyst but he also hopes to be in Fitzpatrick’s corner as he bids to get his pro career off to a winning start.
Brendan’s a tremendously dedicated lad. He’s already making the kind of sacrifices you need to be a success in the pro ranks and he’s living up in Belfast now from Monday to Friday. John’s been very happy with his progress to date and he seems to be adapting very well to the pro game.
I’ve been very impressed with his attitude so far, there are no airs or graces about Brendan, he’s willing to put in the hard work in the gym and he’s entering the professional ranks very much under the radar. He wasn’t a big amateur star so there is no real pressure on him but I’m confident that he will do very well as a pro.
I’m not going to make any bold predictions for him but there is a thriving domestic scene around the super middleweight and light heavyweight divisions right now and I’d like to see him get involved in that mix. There are some great fights out there for him in Ireland and I’m sure that whoever emerges as the leading light from that bunch can go on to make a name for themselves at European level.
An obvious fight a little bit down the road would be between Brendan and Anthony Fitzgerald with two Dubliner’s going at it for the Irish super-middleweight title. I’m a big fan of Anthony’s and I love his ‘fight anybody, anytime’ attitude so I see no reason why that can’t happen once Brendan get’s up and running in the pro ranks.
Fitzpatrick boxed for the West Finglas club throughout his amateur days with the highlight of his unpaid career coming in February of last year when he stepped in at the last minute to take Kenny Egan’s place in a home international against the USA after the Olypmic medallist’s infamous no show for the event.
Despite the short notice Fitzpatrick thrilled the home crowd at the National Stadium that night with a come from behind victory to defeat Siju Shabazz by a single point. That was a great experience, recalled Fitzpatrick. It was nip and tuck but I came from behind in the last round to win it and I know the crowd really enjoyed that one. It was short notice but I was over the moon to get the opportunity.
However Fitzpatrick always fancied a crack at the professional ranks and he believes that the transition from the amateurs will be a relatively smooth one. I talked it through with my amateur trainer Joe Vaughan and decided to give it a go. I know everybody says it when they turn professional but anyone who has seen me box will know that my style is better suited to the pro game. I like to get in there and have a fight and keep the crowd entertained.
I’ve been working on little things with John Breen like using more head movement, slipping and rolling from punches and working on improving my jab and I already feel like I’ve learned an awful lot.
Jim Rock’s been a great help and it’s great to have him on board as a co-manager with John Breen. Jim has good contacts in the game and good influence and I know that the main aim right now is to keep me busy so that I can get as much experience as possible but my first goal would be an Irish title and we will take it from there after that.
There will be further Dublin interest on the the National Stadium card as reigning EU and Irish super bantamweight champion Paul Hyland looks to press his claims for a shot at the winner of the Kiko Martinez Arsen Martirosyan fight while Castleknock prospect Gavin Prunty is also in action alongside the undefeated Cork based Cuban trio of Alexei Acosta, Luis Garcia and Mike Perez.
Tickets for the Hunky Dorys Fight Night priced E40, E75 and E100 are available from Ticketmaster.ie / 0818 719300 or the National Stadium on 087 2511772, the Ticket Office on 086 8120135 or the boxers on the bill.