Tuesday 20 February 2018

Unbeaten run will not weigh down Dubs - Dunne

Former WBA Super Bantamweight Champion Bernard Dunne at the eir Sport announcement of their new channel Box Nation Picture: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy
Former WBA Super Bantamweight Champion Bernard Dunne at the eir Sport announcement of their new channel Box Nation Picture: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Sean McGoldrick

Bernard Dunne insists that Dublin's 32-match unbeaten record in League and Championship is not heaping additional pressure on the All-Ireland champions.

Dublin have drawn three of their last five games but former World bantamweight champion Dunne - now a member of the Dubs' backroom team - claimed that the only people talking about their unbeaten record are the media.

"It is just about applying themselves. When you work hard, all you have got to do then is go out and play, whether that's boxing, UFC, camogie, Gaelic football. It's about being prepared," said Dunne, who was unbeaten in his first 24 fights as a professional.

"I didn't think going into a fight 'Jeez, I'm 20 and zero here, I've got to protect this 20 and zero. You never do. That doesn't enter you head. "It's just another fight for me; that's all it ever was. I didn't have to go out and beat this guy and the last 20 guys that I'd boxed."

It was through a friendship with Jim Gavin's brother Brian - who taught Dunne to speak Irish - that the boxer made his initial contact with the Dublin squad. His involvement has coincided with a golden era.

"It's been a great journey. And I'm a fan, I love the boys. I would have gone to the games before I got involved and they would come to my fights. I knew a lot of them personally anyway," he explained.

Dunne was vague about precisely what role he has played in the Dublin camp since linking up with them five years ago.

Asked what he did in training, he replied tongue in cheek: "I do as little as possible. It's much like my boxing career."

Is he the performance coach?

"I've been given a couple of titles," he said. "They're much like the ones that are in my house. The titles don't mean a whole lot to me. You just kind of pitch in and do whatever is needed to be done."

So is his job to get inside the players' heads?


"It's dangerous to get inside my own head, never mind someone else's head," he joked. "Whatever the gaffer asks me to do I help out with. I think I've been promoted to maor uisce, which is an honour."

Meanwhile, Dunne ruled out the possibility of joining the IABA High Performance Unit, which is in the process of recruiting a new director as well as at least one new coach.

"I've enough going on in my life. I'm seven years retired now and life has gone is a very different direction for me," said Dunne, who insisted, however, that boxing remained the country's No 1 sport.

Bernard Dunne was speaking at the announcement that Box Nation will be available to all eir Sport customers from March 9. For more information visit eirsport.ie.

Irish Independent

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