Search

Dan-Dan Keenan: I made the right call choosing boxing over football

PUBLISHED: 16:00 18 May 2016 | UPDATED: 16:56 18 May 2016

Former Dale Youth ABC starlet Dan-Dan Keenan is looking forward to the second professional bout of his career at the 02 Arena this Saturday (Pic: Natalie Mayhew)

Former Dale Youth ABC starlet Dan-Dan Keenan is looking forward to the second professional bout of his career at the 02 Arena this Saturday (Pic: Natalie Mayhew)

Archant

Former Dale Youth ABC starlet Dan-Dan Keenan believes he made the right decision choosing boxing over football, as he prepares for his second professional outing at the 02 Arena on Saturday.

The 19-year-old spent time at QPR, Wycombe, West Ham, Watford, Oxford and Crystal Palace as a youngster, with a professional football career looking a serious possibility for him at one stage.

He most recently trained with National League South side Wealdstone and non-league outfit Hendon this summer, but gave up the sport altogether back in November and he has no regrets whatsover.

He told the Times: “I know I definitely made the right call.

“I had to choose one sooner rather than later, and once the opportunity to turn professional in November arose, my mind was made up.

“Football was definitely an option for me, though. I’d been at QPR, Wycombe, West Ham, Watford, Oxford, Crystal Palace, so everywhere really, when I was younger.

“More recently I was training with Wealdstone and Hendon this season, but then I just stopped playing altogether after Steve Goodwin offered me a three-year deal to join his team.”

The welterweight, who won his first professional outing by virtue of a points decision against Jack Green at York Hall in March, says his training in the build-up to the fight has been going well – with a surprise gym session with an even more well known graduate of the Dale Youth ‘champions factory’, George Groves, boosting him even further.

He added: “Training has gone really well. I’m just winding down now. I’m getting myself sharper with five one-minute rounds now just to make sure I’m in the best condition possible for Saturday.

“The opening training session in Canary Wharf on Monday was great. I was out there for 50 minutes and a lot of my family and friends came to support me which was great.

“The biggest thing for me came last week,though. I’d just done an intense hill sprints session in the morning, so that obviously took a lot out of me.

“Then [trainer] Barry O’Connell told me I had more training in two hours, and I told him I wasn’t really feeling it.

“But when he mentioned I’d be training with George, it gave me a real lift and some extra motivation.

“It’s been great to see how far he has come since his amateur days and I’m sure there is a lot more to come from him, just like myself.

“I just can’t wait to get out there on Saturday at the 02 in front of all my fans and do the business.”

Elsewhere, Keenan paid tribute to his dad, Paul, someone he says has been instrumental to his progress in boxing.

“My dad has had a massive influence on me in boxing and has always supported me through thick and thin no matter what I’m doing,” explained Keenan.

“I don’t think I’d be in boxing, let along the position I am in today, if it wasn’t for him.

“He took me to the gym when I was younger and to loads of boxing events – I was very fortunate.

“Then I left to play football as that’s what I wanted to do then, but he talked me into getting back into boxing.

“I started enjoying it again and got that appetite back. We went for late night runs together – he kept me dedicated and enthusiastic.

“He helps me out a lot in terms of distributing tickets as well – I’ve got a lot to thank him for.”

Keenan, who has sold around 470 tickets for his fight against Dwayne Shelton this weekend, is aiming for another two fights this year and up to six next year, as he looks to really kick on in 2018.

“I’m just taking my time at the moment, after all I’m only 19,” said Keenan.

“I spoke to Barry and he said to try and fit in two more fights this year, and then four to six the year after [which will take me up to 10]. Then in 2018 I’ll be ready to challenge for titles.”

Latest Kilburn & Brent Stories

10:00

Football manager beat actor Emily Atack to win this year’s series

A prize-winning songwriting graduate from Kensal Rise is releasing his latest music video with all proceeds going to a cancer charity.

Yesterday, 18:53

Hendon fell to a fourth away defeat in their last five matches on the road after another disappointing display saw them beaten by two Basingstoke Town goals in the space of three first-half minutes.

Yesterday, 09:15

Harrow saw three players sent off in the first half of their match with the leaders and conceded five times after the restart on a day to forget in Somerset.

Yesterday, 08:00

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Times’ readers this week.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

In a match that was open for both sides, neither team seized the opportunity and took a point apiece at Clarence Park.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Queens Park Rangers manager Steve McClaren claimed referee Peter Bankes cost his side a result after awarding Leeds a penalty which Kemar Roofe converted to give United a 2-1 comeback win at Elland Road.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Sky Bet Championship: Leeds United 2 Queens Park Rangers 1

PROMOTED CONTENT

A new community centre, The Yellow, opens in Wembley Park in the heart of the Brent community. From October 1, the hub will offer a selection of arts and fitness classes, many of which will be free.

The Granville has begun taking bookings for workspaces and events ahead of its opening this spring.

Brent Clinical Commissioning Group has announced changes to the community’s cardiology service.

Newsletter Sign Up

Kilburn Times twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Kilburn sport

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Brent & Kilburn Times
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now