Debutant Cillian Reardon happy to provide silver lining moment for Leinster Rugby

Leinster Rugby’s scheduled meeting with Scarlets in Wales on Saturday afternoon bowed to the Beast from the East, but the province celebrated sporting success nonetheless that evening.

The weather denied Leinster players to register on field victory, but a member of their coaching staff managed to score a win in the professional boxing ring.

Head of strength and conditioning with the senior team, Cillian Reardon [1(0)-0] made his pro debut on the inaugural Ireland’s Last Man Standing card at the National Stadium in Dublin.

The Steven O’Rourke-trained middleweight impressed his way to a shutout win over Istvan Orsos – a fighter that campaigns as high as cruiserweight – in front of a relatively sizeable early crowd that included the likes of Cian Healy and Jack McGrath.

After having a fight canceled last minute last November, Reardon was delighted to get his debut done and to give the Leinster team something to cheer about in the process.

“I was delighted to get up and running. I am just happy to get a win.”

“I didn’t know how I’d feel when I got in because I haven’t been in any ring for 18 months and I haven’t boxed in front of a crowd before – I know it’s not packed out,but there is expectation-so I thought I’d be nervous, but I got on top with Steve’s strategy early on and it worked brilliantly,” Reardon said before addressing the famous faces dotted around the National Stadium.

“I don’t know exactly how many made it out. Leinster’s fixture was canceled this week and in this respect that’s a silver lining on a bad situation for Leinster. It’s great of the lads showing up and supporting. I don’t know exactly who was here, but a lot of the lads have shown an interest and have been texting me.”

The Stillorgan puncher’s Leinster link has garnered a lot of media attention, but within 30 seconds of his debut it was clear for all to see that the latest addition to the ever-growing Irish pro ranks isn’t a novelty act.

The sports science specialist is sweet science adept and you could go as far as to label him a burgeoning stylist.

The fighter himself points out although people might know him for his roles with Dublin GAA and more recently Leinster he has been boxing for a long time.

“I have a long enough amateur career in terms of time, but I didn’t do much in it. I suppose a lot of people wouldn’t have known I have an amateur career behind me and I have been training with Steve for the last seven years.”

“They only reason I haven’t turned pro in the past was I hadn’t enough time to put it all together. It was something I always had my eye on and we will see where we get to with it now,” Reardon explained before pointing out his short goals.

“As a sort of realistic or medium-term goal, I would like to be an Irish title holder and take it from there. As a first step, I would like to win the Irish title in the next couple of years. I would like to be out again as soon as possible. Again it’s when I can get a six-week camp together because I have a lot of considerations with work, we have a big period coming up.”

Although he didn’t realise before the first bell Reardon was handed a tough debut. Orsos has been beaten on his recent trips to Ireland but by light heavyweights Stevie Collins and Steven Ward.

Such was the Hungarian’s size that it could have been perceived a risk, but it was getting to the stage where Reardon would have fought a heavyweight just to get into the ring.

“There was a lot of back-and-forth with the opponent because of the weather so I didn’t know who I was fighting until I got in the ring. I was just delighted that Assassin and Red Corner ensured I had a fight, especially after the disappointment of November and that was on the cards up and until two o’clock today.”

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

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