Highlights on Off The Ball

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Highlights on Off The Ball


"I'll get into that ring with the chance of making my little boy proud"

As Irish boxer Niall Kennedy prepares to face Alen Babic on a Matchroom Boxing fight card, the We...

As Irish boxer Niall Kennedy prepares to face Alen Babic on a Matchroom Boxing fight card, the Wexford native has his priorities firmly in order. 

It may well be the most significant fight of Niall Kennedy's professional career, but the 36-year-old boxer isn't getting too wound up by the thought of Alen Babic just yet.

"The biggest fight of my life is making sure that my little boy over there on the couch is alright," he explains on Wednesday's OTB AM, "he has a little dose on him so I'm minding him while he's not in playschool."

A little under two weeks before he meets the Croatian heavyweight in a fight that will be televised on Sky Sports, the Gorey native is taking his preparation one day at a time until he meets Babic in Newcastle next month.

Defeated by Devin Vargas in his last outing, Kennedy is confident that this first professional loss may lull his next opponent into a false sense of security regarding the Irish fighter's capabilities.

Win or lose - and he is quietly confident of his chances to achieve the former - Niall Kennedy has his eyes firmly set on the bigger picture at play here.

"I know what's in front of me," he states, "and what's planned out but winning this fight could make things a little bit easier and could push me on to a bigger fight.

"Things happen for a reason and maybe there was a reason there for losing that last fight, but I'm happy, my little man here is happy, my wife is happy and we're healthy.

"The way the world is now we should just make the most of how things are and appreciate everything around us."

Despite Kennedy's calm approach to the Babic bout, he is quick to reiterate that boxing - currently undertaken in tandem with his career as a Garda - is something he takes very seriously.

"Boxing is massively important to me," the 13-1-1 fighter confirms, "between my own mental health and my dreams and ambitions, it is massively important.

"I am 36 now, and I know you're looking at me saying that I don't look it, but I am 36 and this is go-time because if it doesn't happen now it never well.

"In the bigger scale of things though, I'm just full on enjoying it and I'll get into that ring with the opportunity of making my little boy proud.

"That's more important to me than anything else.

Kennedy's bout with Babic will take place in Newcastle on 4 October. On the undercard of Joshua Buatsi's light-heavyweight clash with Marko Calic, it will be available to watch on Sky Sports.

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Alen Babic Boxing Eddie Hearn Matchroom Boxing Niall Kennedy