Niall Kennedy – “I’m starting to believe the harder you train, the luckier you get”

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Wexford heavyweight Niall Kennedy [10(6)-0] was one of the top-performing Irish fighters last year, and he believes he still has a lot more to give.

‘Boom Boom Basil’ claimed the Massachussetts and New England titles as well as the minor IBA Continental Americ s belt, across three fights on the U.S. East Coast in 2017.

The performances saw Kennedy secure a contract with Murphys Boxing and he is already scheduled for a return to the ring this month to kick off 2018.

The Gorey Garda faces faces Aaron Chavers [8(3)-3(1)-1] on a Murphys show at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut.

It’s the beginning of a year where he will be looking to build on solid foundations.

Looking back, Kennedy told Irish-Boxing.com that “2017 was amazing both in the ring and personally.”

“In the ring, everything went well – but I’d trained really hard and I’m starting to believe the harder you train, the luckier you get. I never thought I’d win one belt, let alone three, so it was a great year for me.”

“But, my beautiful wife giving birth to MJ tops anything I’ve ever achieved.”

Kennedy got a glimpse of the other side last year, spending time sparring with IBF-WBA champ Anthony Joshua and performing well against the top active fighter in the world. However, the 33-year old is bound by circumstance and noted how “it’s probably a little sad because I don’t believe I’ve reached 50% of my ability yet.”

“If I was able to dedicate more time to training it would be scary. People forget I’m working 10 hour shifts and training twice a day but life has been very good to me so I’ll keep smiling and see where I end up.”

With that in mind, Kenned is reluctant to set big targets for the year, and outlined how all he is looking for is “a polished performance on February 24th, try relax and show my improvements – and then it’s time to start taking risks again.”

“I’m not looking past February 24th, I need to deliver an eye-catching performance.”

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

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: [email protected]