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Saturday 23 September 2017

Resilient Roe targets title

Talented Dubliner happy to be home and eyeing an Irish belt

Bernard Roe is feeling the ‘buzz’ of being home
Bernard Roe is feeling the ‘buzz’ of being home

After three wins in England, Dublin super welterweight Bernard Roe made his Dublin pro debut at the National Stadium in June of last year.

Going upstairs and downstairs, Roe wore his opponent down and afterwards explained: "He had a tight guard but I had the confidence to mix it."

Impressed, promoter Frank Stacey said: "He has the potential to go wherever he wants in the game."

Roe was happy to be back in Dublin.

"For years Irish fighters had to leave the country to get good training," he told me.

"But now it's here in Dublin.

"My aim is to win an Irish title and take it from there."

A year ago, the night of Eric Donovan's pro debut, Roe seemed ready to lift-off.

But not everything went to plan.

"I was unlucky," explains Bernard.

"First, I got a back injury. Then I had a fight cancelled.

"After that I picked up a hand injury and then another fight fell through. I was off the map for a year."

The good news is Roe is ready to blast back into action on Celtic Clash 3 at the Stadium on September 9 and pick up where he was forced to leave off.

Resilience is an essential part of a successful pro boxer's character and Roe took the setbacks in his stride.

"I didn't let myself get down about it," he explains.

"I was still coming to the gym (the Celtic Warrior Gym) and the buzz here has always been great.

"There's an air of positivity around the place. It feels great. I love it."

With Gary 'Spike' O'Sullivan, Luke Keeler and Craig O'Brien as training partners, Roe hasn't been wanting for top-class sparring.

"Luke Keeler was preparing for an Irish title, which he won," says Bernard.

Mixing

"Craig O'Brien is training for a BUI Celtic light middleweight belt. Spike will be fighting in the States on ESPN. It's brilliant to be mixing with these guys."

Far from lamenting his bad luck, Roe is brimming with confidence.

"I should be 8 and 0," he says. "But I'm back on track and am starting to build the buzz up again. Right now I feel I'll be knocking on the door early next year."

He hasn't been going to the gym just to keep fit.

"I've been working on stuff," he says. "As Paschal (Collins) says, 'You don't train, you practice'.

"I've been learning and perfecting all the techniques that you need in the pro game."

"It's great to be back," he says.

"I expect a good crowd to turn out for the fight and I'm going to give them something to remember."

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