Over the past two years, there have been an unprecedented number of boxers turning professional in Ireland and one of the stand-out names has been Cillian Reardon.
This interest did not come because of a huge amateur pedigree or sparring stories from gyms around the city.
No, Reardon’s move raised eyebrows due to his ‘real’ job. The Stillorgan middleweight is the Head of Strength and Conditioning with Leinster Rugby and this equals plenty of column inches as well as some famous faces among his supporters.
However, in his three fights so far, all wins, Reardon has proven that he is no gimmick and will look to continue this streak on Saturday, November 24 at Good Counsel GAA Club in Drimnagh when he fights on the Celtic Clash 7 card.
Indeed, Reardon makes a very early step up to six-round fights on the show, far from the preserve of PR stunts.
Despite all this, the fight reports on the night will all make reference to Ireland’s test match with the USA at the Aviva Stadium which takes place at the same time.
Some may get frustrated on his behalf but the laidback Reardon does not care and notes how “to be honest, it doesn’t annoy me”.
“It’s the natural thing and I also get a lot of advantages from being associated with Leinster. You take the rough with the smooth but I think I am where I am at now on merit.
“I would like people to see me as a good boxer when I am in the ring and know me for that too but it is up to me to prove what I am capable of. I think that would be the case for any fighter not just one with my associations.”
While his name was not a regular one on the entry lists of amateur competitions, Reardon has a long relationship with the sport with seven years as an amateur and the Steven O’Rourke-trained puncher has impressed with his skills and technique more than his physical strength thus far.
And he is looking to push on quickly now.
“I’m 31, I want to do something in this game that’s worth doing. It’s a bit of a sink-or-swim scenario for me so I’m happy to progress faster.
“I want to be busy to first of all build a record but also to move toward more competitive fights in as short as time as makes sense. It is also about getting me the experience quickly so I can take those competitive fights.
“I said after my first fight a realistic medium term goal would be to win the Irish title. I still think that should be the goal. I am not saying I should be jumping in with [Irish Middleweight Champion] Luke Keeler right now but I don’t think that level is out of reach.”
** Tickets for the fight night are €55 (ringside) and €35 (unreserved) and are available from the boxers involved. Cillian Reardon can be contacted through his social media or by ringing him at 086 104 7235.