BOXING : Dublin docklands big man kicks off pro career

by Jonny Stapleton
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Jonny Stapleton

Emmet Brennan is hoping to use the influence of British Boxing royalty to help him fast-track his way to becoming King of the Irish super middleweights.

The popular Olympian finally enters the paid ranks this week, ending a frustrating period of injury with a fight on the MHD-promoted Close Encouthers card in the Europa Hotel in Belfast.

The Dublin Dockland’s graduate’s first fight since he lost to Dilshodbek Ruzmetov at the Tokyo Olympics’ will be a routine get back into the swing of things affair. However, once he has oiled off the rust, Brennan wants to get motoring and has targeted titles at 168lbs.

The 32-year-old previously sent a ‘let’s fight’ message to the domestic names at the weight and wants to fight for titles straight away.

The Dubliner will have to make himself eligible and fight over six rounds to qualify for the BUI Celtic title and eight for the Irish, not to mention he will have to persuade domestic champions to fight him.

That’s potentially where his co-managers, former middleweight world champion Darren Barker and Hall of Fame fighter Joe Calazghe come in.

Barker’s close links to Eddie Hearn, Matchroom and DAZN mean Brennan should get the Katie Taylor- Chantelle Cameron rematch card rumoured to be taking place in Dublin in November. Such is the prestige and indeed the finance associated with that  bill, that if Brennan does get a slot it won’t be too hard to persuade the winner of the mandated Irish 168lbs title fight between Craig McCarthy of Waterford and Kerry’s Kevin Cronin to put it on the line against the Dub in Dublin.

“I have no doubt they are going to do great things for my career,” said Brennan.

“They have great links but it’s my job now to get a few good wins. I need a few knockouts, exciting fights and maybe a Celtic title or an Irish title. Once I have them in the first three, four or five fights, Darren is the man to open doors and so can Joe as well so they’ll be able to do that once I do the work in the ring.

“If I could get the Celtic title in my second or third fight and then go for the Irish title in my fourth or fifth fight, that would be unbelievable, although maybe a small bit unrealistic, but I’m trying to be ambitious and that’s the route I really want to go.”

Brennan turns over with a real lazer focus and the kind of single-minded drive he used to come from the back of the field to qualify for the Olympics.

It’s also a determination he temporarily lost after the Games and particularly when he went to New York in search of a pro contract.

The popular battler found himself drinking to the point he felt it was having a negative impact on his life, he gave it up as a result and is much the better for the decision.  

“I realised that alcohol was a problem for me again, and promised myself I was going to give it up, which has been the best thing I’ve done in my life. I’ve just been so productive.

“I’m about to start a professional career, opening two businesses and training, passing on my boxing skills to the kids in this club. Definitely, quitting alcohol has just shone a new light on my life. I’m proud of it.”

Emmett Brennan will begin his professional career in Belfast this weekend.

Picture: Matthew Spalding

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