Remarkable Ricky Nesbitt nears Irish title after recovering from “near-death experience”


Ricky Nesbitt is hoping to continue a miraculous turnaround in Dublin this coming Saturday night.

Just under four years ago the Dundalk fighter was involved in a serious accident and his life, nevermind his career, looked in danger. However, a remarkable recovery and a remarkable attitude now means that he is just one win away from being crowned Ireland’s best light flyweight.

Back in 2014 Nesbitt suffered a crash while riding a quad bike and required urgent medical care.

“I had a bit of a bad accident to the head and was out of the sport for a while and I’ve just got back into it,” Nesbitt told Irish-Boxing.com who had asked for his boxing background.

The 22-year-old described how “I was in a bad quad accident in 2014, I near died from it. You can see the scar on my head, it goes from the top of my forehead down to my nose.”

“I was on a quad, no helmet, it was a near-death experience. I didn’t think I’d be in the ring after it at all, I was lucky to live.”

The months and years racked up following the incident, but a large scar is not the only thing that the accident has left Nesbitt with.

Having formerly been with Dealgan in his hometown, Nesbitt now boxes out of Carrickmacross in Monaghan and approaches the sport – and life – with an unbelievable hunger to succeed.

He outlined how “time passed, I’ve had a couple of fights since, and it doesn’t affect me whatsoever. It drives me on, if anything. Making up for lost time. I joined up with Frick McMahon in Carrickmacross in June [2017] and I’ve been flat out training”

“My past is in my past, but I’m really looking to make up for it because there’s no time for error, really. You’ve a short shot at this sport and you have to give it your all and live like an athlete. I’m not planning on missing any more time, I’m planning to be around for the next long while at 49kg.”

“After being out for so long, you realise what lifestyle you want and what lifestyle you don’t want – because it’s easy to fall into things if you’re not training or working. Getting back into boxing was the best thing for me, it brings nothing but good to my life and I’m happy living that way.”

After making his competitive return in September at the Celtic Box Cup and participating in a fight night in Spain, Nesbitt was due to box Blaine Dobbins in the Ulster Elite Senior finals in November.

This fight never happened, and the ambitious fighter is keen to make a breakthrough this weekend against Connor Jordan of St Aidan’s on Saturday instead.

Nesbitt noted how “I was hugely disappointed, I was meant to meet Blaine Dobbins in the Ulster final and I was hugely disappointed that he pulled out on the final day. I have his Ulster title at home on the mantlepiece and I’m looking to put his Irish title on the mantlepiece with that.

“My nickname is Nasty Nesbitt, and I hope to show that on Saturday night. I can adapt to any style, I like different styles. I don’t really box the same each fight, it depends on the opponent. I’m happy going in, working on the inside, or moving on the outside. It’s all the one to me really.”

Before his accident, Nesbitt had always been there or thereabouts, jumping around the weights.

Now though he has slimmed down to amateur boxing’s smallest class and is looking to make a proper go at the sport.

The charismatic character explained how “I’ve been around boxing my whole life. Competitively, I entered the Intermediates a number of times and was beat by eventual winners. I won the National Novices in 2013 and later on in the year I was beaten in the final of the Under-22s.”

“I boxed at a couple of different weights but I’m at 49kg now and I’m making it handy. I know Conor Jordan and he’s a wee bit taller than me, but he finds the weight a whole lot harder. I feel strong and at my best at 49kg. With the diet though, I need that Elite belt because some of my jeans don’t fit me anymore.”

“I’ve been sparring some of the best flyweights in the country, Regan Buckley, Brendan Irvine, Colm Quinn, Mark Corcoran, we’ve been travelling all over the country, putting in the hard work.”

“I’m at the best I’ve ever been. I feel my best and most confident going into the ring each time. I’ve prepared properly. I’m working really hard towards it, towards my goals.”

“If I can come on so much in the last few months, what will I like after a few more competitions? If I get international experience?”

dpg

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]