A top level amateur who has been away from the game for the past few years, there will be a lot of interest in the pro debut of Chris Mullally.
The Newbridge light heavyweight fights for the first time without a vest on Saturday September 9th at the National Stadium in Dublin on the ‘Celtic Clash 3: Building Champions’ card promoted by Boxing Ireland and Tony Davitt. The night is headlined by a another former Kildare amateur star, with Athy’s Eric Donovan challenging for the vacant BUI Celtic featherweight title against Welsh champion Dai Davies.
While Donovan was enjoyed success at senior level, 24 year old Mullally never really got to show off his undoubted talent on the senior stage, and he will be looking to begin with a bang next month.
There is certainly a lot of potential to work with, and those ‘in the know’ are excited about the return of a fighter who, at one stage during his teenage years, was ranked #4 in the World. At underage level, Mullally won buckets of domestic titles, multiple multi nations medals, European Schoolboys bronze, and was also a two-time World Championships quarter finalist.
However, after a brief foray at Intermediate level which didn’t lead to much, a burnt out Mullally stepped away from the ring and away from the sport completely. However, the lilywhite light heavyweight was born to box and has too much talent to lie idle so, now at 24 years of age, he has been lured back to the pro side of the Sweet Science.
Mullally explains that the hiatus was a short-lived, but needed, one. He describes how “I took a break for a while because I was flat out with the boxing from a young age. I got back into it because I missed the boxing, and I always wanted to go pro so I decided to give it shot.”
Mullally now trains at Kilnamanagh BC in Tallaght under Stephen Kavanagh, alongside pro lightweight Liam Gaynor and top amateur super heavyweight Jay Clarke. Indeed Mullally himself has a nice blended style, mixing a clean clinical ‘amateur’ approach with a willingness to get down and dirty like a pro.
The former Ryston amateur describes how “my style is long and rangey, I like to pick my shots as its all about timing but I can to mix it up in close as well. It’s been brilliant training with Kavo, he’s whipping me back into shape and the training has been tough but great, he’s steering me in to right direction and I am excited to see where it takes us. I had to adjust in small areas like learning to pace myself and taking my time and taking the right shots. Its still a learning process.”
Kavanagh, who will also manage Mullally, is excited to be working with Kildare man and said that “he’ll be looking to hit the ground running in the pro game. I’m looking forward to see where this lad can go, I’m delighted to have him in the gym.”
The light heavyweight division in Ireland is a bustling one. Our current champion is Mullingar’s Paddy McDonagh, who recently defeated Steve Collins Jr, son of the two-weight world champion, and there is also Belfast’s Commonwealth Games silver medalist Steven Ward. Mullally certainly has the talent to get to this level, however the modest fighter is not making any bold claims.
For Mullally, activity is the name of the game, and the big man is looking to stay busy from hereon in, starting on September 9th. Mullally outlined how “short term my pro debut is coming up and hopefully I get one or two fights in before the end of the year. Long term, we haven’t really discussed it, we’ll just see how the rest of the year pans out and take it from there.”
“I would just like to say thank you to the Irish boxing community for allowing me to further my career. I would like to thank my coach Stephen Kavanagh for getting me where I need to be and hopefully a lot further in the next coming months. And also my sponsor Paul Moloney of Valentus for the amazing product that has helped me a lot with training.”
Headlined by the Eric Donovan v Dai Davies BUI Celtic featherweight title fight, the ‘Celtic Clash 3: Building Champions’ card also features Regan Buckley v Carl McDonald, Anto Cacace, Stephen McAfee, Martin Quinn, Aiden Metcalfe, Dylan McDonagh, Colin O’Donovan, Gerard Whitehouse, Michael Gallagher, Keane McMahon, John Joyce and Bernard Roe.
Tickets for the show cost €30 (Balcony), €40 (Gallery), €60 (Ringside), €100 (VIP Premium), and €15 (Under-15s gallery – must be bought alongside an adult ticket) and are available to buy from Chris at 085 230 4406 or online at Ticketmaster.ie