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Shannon boxer David Ryan Photograph by John Kelly

Shannon boxer fighting in Belfast on Saturday

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SHANNON professional boxer David Ryan will make his return to the ring on Saturday night in Belfast.

It’s his first fight since last June and he is relieved to be able to fight once again. “I’m over the moon to be back and I’m injury free for once, thank God!”

For months he wasn’t able to throw a punch. “I had a hand injury and I couldn’t do anything with it, a ruptured tendon in my hand, and I couldn’t do anything with that from April to December. It was a long few months. I couldn’t spar, nothing; just told to rest it. I’d still have been in the gym all the time, but had to step back from the boxing.”

Recovering was very tricky and there were a number of setbacks.. “I had a couple of spars where it went again, that put things back and I had to get it looked after and it would go again. You’re half doing things in training and it got to a stage where I said ‘feck this, I have to go for it’. Half working was making it worse for me. I eventually said ‘let’s go for it’ and it started to heal a bit better then, and I wrapped my hands that bit better.”

David is delighted with how preparations have gone for this weekend. “I can’t wait to get going. I’ve had a tough, tough camp, it’s been brilliant. It’s probably the best one to date. I sparred Paddy Donovan, I sparred Brendan McCarthy from Cork, he’s a 14 time Irish champion, Lee Reeves. I’ve been sparring good people, the best of the best. My last spar was with Lee and that was probably the sharpest I sparred. I’m on weight, which is great.”

In 2024 he hopes to get the chance to fight for an Irish title, but says there will be a break after Saturday night. “My biggest downfall after fights has been jumping straight back into training, not taking a rest. I’m taking a month off all hard training after this fight, just to give my body a complete break. I’m training three times a day, it’s constant, and I’m going to give my body a much-needed rest and go back into camp after that.”

He is a very busy young man, as along with professional prizefighting he is a professional butcher, at Denver Morrissey’s in the Town Centre. 

On top of that he is running Shannon Boxing Club, passing on his knowledge to the next generation. “It’s a tough job to work, train and do that! I’ve got a young lad fighting this weekend in the Munster championships and I can’t make it due to my own training, so I have another guy going with him. We had two Clare champions (Adrian McDonagh and Luke Coughlan) last week from our club, so it’s thriving.”

David kept the club going after the death of Gerard McGettigan, and he feels it gives an important outlet to young people. “Taking over the club wasn’t something I had planned on doing, it just kind of happened with the passing of Ger. I was helping him cover classes and the decision was do I close the club or keep the young lads off the road, it does keep a fair amount of them off the road. I’m glad to be teaching them rather than for them to be out on the road causing trouble. It’s an eye opener, and kids do need something.”

Between working a day job, his own training and training the next generation, there isn’t a lot of spare time. “I haven’t spent a full day with my partner since Christmas, it’s more tough on her than me. This is what I want to do and she supports it, but you’d need to know what you’re getting into, in a relationship with someone like this!” he says.

David’s fight on Saturday night will be streamed  live on the Spórt TG4 Youtube channel.

Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.