THE GOAL IS TO BECOME A WORLD CHAMPION
As he approaches his first year as a professional boxer, Kukri Sports sat down with sporting ambassador Kieran Molloy to look back on his career so far, from his incredible amateur career to signing with the sports brand, and his ambitions for the future.
“I only spoke to my girlfriend about it last week,” Kieran Molloy says, astonished, when asked if he realises the enormity of what he has accomplished since going pro earlier this year.
“We were on the way back to the airport to come back to England, and I was just sitting there and thought to myself if you told me this three years ago that I was going to sign as a professional, having Kukri Sports as a kit sponsor and training in England with a world class coach, I would be so happy.”
For Molloy, becoming a professional boxer has been his dream since he was five years old. He followed his two brothers, Connor and Stephen, to the local Boxing club in Galway and, as he puts it, has “never looked back since.”
The Irish boxer rose to prominence in the amateur scene with 202 wins in 221 fights, including 11x National Champion, 3x Irish Elite Champion, EU bronze medallist, as well as a Youth European and World medallist, all by the age of 23.
“I started having my first few fights when I was 9,” said Molloy. “Every guy that I would spar at my own age, I was far too advanced for them.
“Then I started sparring with kids three or four years older and I would hold my own against them. So we travelled around the country for sparring matches and I started winning national titles, so it was all good for my confidence.”
But there is one moment that stands out for him the most: winning his first league title. “To have my grandad there, who sadly passed away last year, and the people who were with me from the start, who supported me, it was just class to have everyone with me on the night.”
After making the decision to turn over to the pro ranks nine months ago, Molloy was signed by one of the best promotional companies in the business. His link up with world-class coach Angel Fernandez has seen him go from strength to strength, with three professional wins under his belt so far. However, his life has changed in more ways than one, in and out of the ring.
“I have to do a lot by myself now. I live by myself which has been a big change. On the weekends I have to stay disciplined and recover properly so I’m fresh for training on Monday. Even if I’m just going out visiting people, it still makes you tired when Monday comes, so I’ve been trying to get as much out of training as possible and my recovery, as well.
“I’m training extremely hard. I think I’ve upped my work ethic again since I’ve turned pro. I’m studying a lot about boxing this year, compared to before when training was done I would just forget about boxing for the rest of the day.
“Most days now, I’m going back and writing down what worked well. I’m studying, always, just to try and improve.”
When the subject turns to Kukri Sports, it is evident how much the support means to Molloy. The sports brand partnered with him ahead of his pro debut and now supply him with sportswear for his bouts, something the young boxer is grateful for, and believes has had a significant impact on his confidence in the squared circle.
“We’re on an exciting journey together,” Molloy gleamed. “I have a three-year goal for myself to become a world champion and to top that with the support from Kukri Sports, it’s amazing.
“They’re great at keeping contact and always have me kitted out properly for training, with not just me but my whole team. It’s good to look slick as a team together, going to weigh-ins or press conferences. They’re great people to work with.”
Molloy’s commitment and knowledge of the sport in which he operates is compelling, and with his fourth pro-bout scheduled for next month in Belfast, he is determined to keep his unbeaten record.
“I fought in Belfast in August in front of 11,000 people in a massive stadium with a great atmosphere. There’s always a good atmosphere in Belfast for fight nights.
“We’re looking to move to 4-0 that night so I’m looking forward to it. We’re in a heavy faze of camp at the moment so by the time fight night comes, we will be well prepared.”
Despite being heavily focused on his next fight, Molloy does have a long term vision. His approach has always been that he is better than his opponents and feels he can reach the pinnacle of the sport, but he remains humble and is determined for his performances to speak for themselves
“I’ve got a lot of dreams in my head, and I don’t want to share all of them, but the ultimate goal is to make sure I become a world champion”. Molloy’s boxing journey is not one to be missed.