EAMON Deane has experienced his fair share of hard knocks in the recent past and, by his own admission, had lost his way in the sport.
There was never any doubting his natural ability but he was in danger of wasting his very considerable talent as he failed to maintain his focus. He was something of a kickboxing nomad until Strike Martial Arts Academy opened its doors last year.
Taken under the wing of four times world champion, Daniel ‘Pinta’ Quigley who helped nurture his undoubted ability, Deane regained his love for the sport.
And he’s paid his coach back in full by winning the ISKA super middleweight Pro-Am 5 Nations title in stunning fashion at last Saturday’s ‘Domination’ event.
Deane, who entertained fans with his dramatic entrance to the ring and his all action style, claimed a unanimous decision win over Manchester Evolve’s Randy Mboyo in what was arguably the ‘fight of the night’.
A delighted Deane paid tribute to his coach for helping to ‘change his life’ around and providing him with the necessary platform to get back to the top of his game.
“Words can’t describe it. Last year I was a nobody and it took one man to believe in me and give me an opportunity to change my life and I have. I’ve trained with the best to be the best, I’ve been sparring with world champions and great athletes and all the hard work pays off. When I train I don’t mess about and I always give 100 per cent commitment and I think that shows.
‘I don’t cheat my diet and don’t miss any training sessions. No other coach has believed in me the way ‘Pinta’ has and no one has ever given me as many opportunities as he had. Strike’s only been open a year and this is only the beginning for the club.”
Ever the showman, Deane had the attendance on their feet with his ring walk, wearing a ‘V for Vendetta’ mask and dancing into the ring. But he cemented himself as more than just hype on Saturday with a memorable performance, out-classing his English opponent from the start.
“I just want to be something different,” he explained. “You see all these K1 fighters doing the same thing and it gets the crowd going.
“So if someone’s going to pay me £20 to come watch me, then I’m going to give them their money’s worth and put on a show for them.
“I’m an entertainer, so I’m not just here to fight - I’m here to put on a show too.”
Deane didn’t give his opponent a chance to settle into his unfamiliar surroundings, bombarding him with combinations at a relentless pace.
And his work in the early rounds paid dividends as he went on to claim the win despite Mboyo’s late flurry of attacks. “I think he knew I had the early rounds won and he came out for the knockout,” said Deane.
“But I knew what he was doing, he kept going for the big left hook all the time so I was just ducking under.
“Everyone has said I just out-classed him.
“My corner were just telling me to keep focussed in the final stages.
“ I knew I was ahead so they were telling me not to do anything crazy and I kept my composure, kept my hands up high and did my combos that I’ve been practicing in the gym and it worked.”
Looking to the future Deane claims he won’t duck from any challenges that arise off the back of an impressive display in front of the ISKA officials on the night.
“I’ll be back to training on Monday and whatever comes up, comes up,” he said. “I never back out of a fight so whatever comes I’ll take it.
“It’s all ahead of me. I’m not rushing into anything I’ll build up my experience and get the wins - I haven’t been defeated yet so I’m just enjoying it.”
Strike coach, Pinta Quigley claimed it was just the beginning for his latest champion.
“Eamon Deane was fantastic,” said ‘Pinta’.
“He has worked so hard all year and I couldn’t be more happy for him.
It was his time to shine and show everyone what he is capable of and he did it with a controlled, professional performance. It’s just the beginning for Eamon.”