Sunday 19 January 2020

Rohan plan for big date

On the Canvas

Rohan Date has sparred against the likes of Josh Kelly (pictured)
Rohan Date has sparred against the likes of Josh Kelly (pictured)

Josh Kelly and Ray Robinson battled to a draw on the Anthony Joshua-Andy Ruiz Jr undercard last week.

"I sparred both of them guys," reveals Rohan Date. "I was in Philadelphia sparring Robinson. Before Kelly, Robinson fought a gold medal Olympian, a Lithuanian guy, which was another draw that I thought he won. I was his last sparring partner."

Like most boxers on the way up, the Waterford welter measures his progress through spars with the stars.

"He's world level, top 10, and I was taking him on in really competitive sparring," says Rohan. "I sparred Kelly on my first week in London."

Born in Manchester and reared in Waterford, Rohan Patrick Date was mentored at St Saviours Crystal BC by Paul Simpson, who insists: "He has what it takes to win titles."

Unbeaten, Date (8-0-1, 6 KOs) will be in action at the York Hall on June 22.

"The second pro show I attended was Prizefighter at the York Hall," he recalls. "Now I spend almost every other week there because it's the backbone of English boxing. I've seen so many walk outs there that I can visualise how it's going to go."

With Jay Byrne forced to withdraw from the Irish welterweight title decider against Noel Murphy in Cork next month, Date would appear to be the most likely contender. He stopped Murphy when they fought as amateurs.

However, the Déise fighter has a career path mapped out and Cork doesn't suit.

"I've spoken to Noel Murphy's manager and we agreed that we could sell out this show ourselves," he says. "I asked about the contract and the purse and it isn't there right now. Noel does really good in New York at the moment. I have a thing going on in Philadelphia. Maybe if Noel has the title, that's where it could be."


An astute student of the business of boxing, Rohan has moved to Johnny Edwards' gym in London.

"London in winter is dark and dreary when you're waiting for fights, but it's where I need to be for training purposes," he explains.

"Right now, there are four different shows I've been asked to be on," he adds, "including the Amir Khan show in Saudi Arabia. I turned that down. It didn't suit. I had to leave Ireland and put myself in a position to get these fights. We did nearly 80K worth of tickets for my last fight in Dubai.

"I've a title fight in September or October," reveals Rohan. "It will be for one of the major titles. It will most likely be in back in Dubai, where I lived for a couple of years.

"I've been very fortunate with my career."

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