08 December 2008 – By David Boyle
Despite having been out of the ring since 2006 and aged 33, former amateur star Michael Kelly is adamant that he can leave his mark on the professional ranks.
What have you been up to recently?
Well, I have spent the last few months shearing sheep and renovating houses. As for the training, I have just been keeping in shape as fights have not been coming my way.
After a brilliant amateur career how did you find the transition to the professional ranks?
Well David, I found my style of fighting to be more suited to the professional game. The three minute rounds and longer fights are an advantage to me as I have great stamina. Also I tend to get stronger as the fight progresses building up momentum with my body punching and aggressive style.
You have found it difficult getting competitive action since turning pro, what are the reasons for this?
Definitely I have been unlucky. I have had fights cancelled at the last minute on a few occasions, after I had to travel to Belfast daily for my training. With the fights falling through and no compensation meant that I had to get numerous jobs to pay the bills, which has affected my training.
You are undefeated yet you cannot get fights, how frustrating has it been?
It has been terrible, after winning two military world championships, I thought that the fights would be no problem. How wrong was I. However, I can understand when people like Paddy Hyland and Phil Suthcliffle and others organise shows they are on a tight budget and its hard to pay the bills. Its got to the point were a will fight for free just to get fighting again and show what I can do. I just want to get active hungry for the sport again, its been hard.
What are your immediate aims now?
At the moment I have just been keeping fit. If the fights come then Id put myself into a six week training camp and then let the ball roll on.
Looking at friends for your amateur career doing so well, Henry Coyle, Paul McCloskey to name a few, how does it make you feel?
After my son Bryon arrived and my attachment to him, I decided not to go to the US but box in Ireland and the UK. As an amateur I achieved so much more than these guys yet I cannot get started. I know I could make an impact given the opportunity.
Who would you most like to fight at the moment?
First and foremost I need to get a fight with someone willing to fight. Not someone just in it to survive. Then I want to move to eight-rounders and aim for the likes of Cavans Andy Murray. I could easily take him and the likes of Paul McCloskey, if I were 100 per cent ready.
Any Last words?
I just want to get the opportunity to show everyone what I have got. Even though in my 30s I have never had any hard fights and I am fresh so I just want the chance to shine.