Victor Rabei dismisses “pathetic” talk from Team Hanney – Focused on the future


Victor Rabei claims a “pathetic” Jake Hanney is “talking out of his arse” with regard to their proposed rematch.

The BUI Celtic light welterweight champion and Irish title hopeful returns to the ring on Saturday night in Belfast following his March triumph over Hanney but the back-and-forths continue ahead of his appearance on the MHD ‘Summer Brawl’ bill at the Europa Hotel.

Rabei [7(2)-0] claims he has become tired of the “childish” antics of the East Wall fighter and his team and states that he is done with a ‘”bullshit” debate gave his final say on the matter when speaking to Irish-Boxing.com this week.

The Rathmichael prospect refuted claims from ‘The Wizard’ that an offer to rematch on ‘Celtic Clash 8’ for the Irish title was made and claims a “reasonable offer” to trade leather on the June 22nd York Hall-hosted ‘Irish Invasion’ card was put on the table only to be knocked back by the other side.

Most would argue the fight would be wasted in London and the verbals do seem like the perfect build up to a more high profile return – which would no doubt be more entertaining considering Hanney [5(4)-2(1)] would have another fight under his belt.

However, while keen, Rabei is adamant that he has no interest in a prolonged battle via the media. He had no issue in setting the record straight from his perspective, but it seems he won’t comment further on the issue moving forward.

“I’ve got screenshots of the conversations between Assassin and Boxing Ireland. He’s talking out of his arse,” Rabei told Irish-Boxing.com. 

“It’s pathetic at this stage. No offer for the 25th of May was made and we gave them a reasonable offer for the 22nd [of June]. I’m not gonna get myself involved in this bullshit anymore. This is a professional game not a kids’ show.

“It’s very childish at this stage. They wanted the rematch straight after the last fight, then they didn’t, and now come up with all this bullshit. It’s pathetic. I’m not gonna engage on it anymore. If it happens, it happens.”

While Hanney may remain on the long term ‘to do’ list, the Steven O’Rourke-trained fighter has a more pressing matter.

The 25-year-old faces Barcelona-based Nicaraguan Lesther Cantillano on a Feargal McCrory-topped MHD card at the Europa Hotel. 

The Central American is certainly durable, but wouldn’t be expected to cause Rabei problems.

Considering three of his last four bouts were all-Irish affairs – and the fact his last two bouts were TG4 broadcast affairs – Saturday represents a step back for the light welterweight.

A tick-over fight at this stage of his career is probably welcome, but there would be worries surrounding motivation for any fighter stepping away from the spotlight.

Rabei admits it’s not as exciting a prospect, but claims fighting in Belfast for the first time ensures he wants to impress and revealed those around him haven’t allowed his standards to drop.

“I am very happy I’m out again, and on a brilliant card. I am really looking to fighting in Belfast,” he said.

“It is a big drop since my last fight, but you still have to stay on it, it’s tough to push yourself that bit more in training but luckily I have people that are there to push me!”

Rabei also admits he goes into the clash relatively blind to his opponent’s capabilities and will take things round by round.

“He’s a very durable Nicaraguan, it’s all I know!” he says when pushed on his opponent.

“I’ll take the fight round by round. If the opportunity for a stoppage presents itself, I will take it.”

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

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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: [email protected]