Tuesday 6 October 2015

THIS WEEK: I'm a writer, not a fighter!

Brian O'Donoghue

Published 20/03/2012 | 14:51

AT THE end of the third round I was wrecked. The Paddy's Day punch up in St Laurences GAA at the weekend was something I had been looking forward to for weeks but boxing is just so different from anything else I have ever done.

13 loyal supporters followed me up to the venue and while they enjoyed the six bouts before I took the ring with some refreshing beverages; I was upstairs in my blue trunks, bandages and most favourite of all my Carlow jersey, waiting for bout number seven where I would take on Ger Mcnally from KFM.

Ger had boxed at this event two years previously and so he had a fair idea of what he was doing inside a ring. I on the other hand was like a Kilkenny footballer in that I looked the part, but it just wasn't my thing.

I had decided on the Friday afternoon, one day before the fight that going into the ring and trying to box tactically just would not have worked so instead I turned to showboating. I dug out a plain white tshirt and carefully scribbled the words "Too Pretty To Lose" across the back and when I put it on just before we took the ring it ticked Ger right off.

Willie Byrne, of Grangecon boxing club, who coincidently has relations in my native Rathvilly, was in my corner and he strapped the gloves to my hands and told me to watch for Ger's jab and cross.

What I think this means is that Ger would jab me with his left hand and while I attempted to dodge or block it he would launch the strong right hand at my head in an attempt to give me the K. O

The first round started and I did my best to get the crowd going by spinning and dancing around the ring, I got tired though doing that and had to resort to boxing.

Ger threw the first punch but I avoided it and in return I did something that I didn't know I had in my locker.

I completely emptied the tank throwing as many punches at his head and body as I could muster, and it didn't feel so bad. After thirty seconds of this though the arms got tired and I was reduced to skipping around and blocking when I could.

When the bell went I was shattered. Willie pulled out my gum shield and gave me some water which I spat into a bucket being held by a young Moore from Clonmore and he asked me how I was. In no uncertain terms I told him I was pretty tired and I may have used the F word.

But Willie told me to keep at it, that I was fitter than Ger and that I'd win it if I did more of the same.

I gave Ger the old wobbly knees in the start of the second round and showed him my chin in an effort to get him to attack in rage. He did, and when the man hits, he hits hard, but I managed to block some of his haymakers and got another 30 seconds of punches off before collapsing into my blue corner.

Willie could tell I was wrecked but he said nothing of the sort and encouraged me to give it everything in the last round.

Out I went and I went back to spinning around in an effort to show Ger my back as if to say "look, I can spin around here and you can't get near me" this was working well until I attempted it a third time and when I landed BOOM, he clobbered the side of the head off me and to be honest my neck is still sore!

I didn't go down though and we battled through the last minute until we were both out on our feet.

When Kevin O'brien interviewed me afterwards in the ring the only word I could muster to the 300 strong crowd was "ADRIAN!!!!" which got a good laugh from spectators.

I heard a story afterwards that my fight was "very funny, but ' quare' harmless" and that was probably accurate, as I said, I'm a writer, not a fighter!

My next big challenge is this legends match for the Power of Bagenalstown 2 where I will lineout for St. Andrews against some of the greatest players of our time like Maurice Fitzgerald, Peter Canavan and Seamus Moynihan. It all happens Easter weekend and anybody who would like to buy a ticket please give me a call on 0872630846

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