The Dubai-based Waterford man returned home to fight on the county’s first pro show in over 70 years and delivered possibly the performance of the night.
Date was handed a step up in the form of Cork-based South African Jade Karam, but blasted his way to victory taking out a man that had taken the more experienced Alfredo Meli six rounds.
The well-travelled light middleweight needed just 26 seconds to deliver victory and made it three knockout wins from four fights.
“No waiting around! That was my second fight in Ireland and my second to end in the first round. I am glad that I am backing up the hype,” a delighted Date explained after the win on the Ring Kings show.
The 24-year-old would have been happy to get some rounds under his belt but is aware his growing reputation as a puncher – Date has stopped three of his opponents and dropped the other multiple times en-route to a points win – is opening pro doors for him.
After registering his fourth pro win he claims he is now ready to go full-time in the hopes he can forge out a successful pro career for himself.
“This is going to be a building block for me. I am happy to add to my record and to keep building my reputation,” he continued.
“I was semi full-time going into this show and now I want to go full-time. Hopefully this performance has catapulted me into full-time and built my reputation.”
“I am out again in Oman next month. I fight a guy from Morroco, another tough bout. Hopefully that ends in the same fashion. I hope to be back here before the Summer and then I am planning a one or two-month training camp in the States.”
“I am training harder than ever now. I never trained like this before. As an Irish High Performance Athlete I still didn’t train as hard as I am now, which is quite interesting but the truth.”
Karam came into the bout with a full camp under his belt and was at the very least confident he could test Date. On paper, it was a test of Déise man’s credentials and one he passed with authority.
Date does seem to have confidence in his ability, but admits his go far beliefs were rubberstamped by the manner of Saturday night’s wins.
“He did six rounds with Meli and Meli drew with Cummings, so you do draw confidence. In saying that I am not up there with these guys, they’re not even in my weight, they are middleweights, but it shows where I am right now.
“I want to keep doing six and eight rounders and would like to get rounds, but I take confidence that I definitely can punch, I have no fear and I am ready for challenges.”
“I mentally visualised what was going to happen when I got in the ring so it wasn’t a surprise to me. That is a key factor to what I am doing now so hopefully that helps me move forward.”
Date was one of three home fighters on the inaugural Neil Power Promotions bill and was delighted to be fighting in Waterford.
“It was great to look out into the crowd and to be able to say ‘I know him, I remember her’ and so on, it was great,” said the fighter who spends most of his time in the UAE.
“I said it before, Dublin just wasn’t a place for me and I don’t have an interest really. I have 11 Irish finals I have lost there. Now It those were against the top lads your Michael O’Reillys and Dean Walshs in closes matches, but, for me, Dublin doesn’t compare to here.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)