From Fall to Rise: The Road back for Connor Tierney
At BKB 16 on March 30th, Connor Tierney found himself on the receiving end of a first round knockout. Many discouraged by such events, Tierney is now scheduled to compete on June 8th at BKB 17 and details his road back to the O2 in London, England.
Motivation is sometimes difficult to find, especially in a professional sport following a rather devastating loss. In Connor Tierney’s case, it’s no different.
At BKB 16 back in March, Tierney would enter the ring as one half of the ‘Prize Fighter’ tournament semi-finalists, squaring off with now finalist, Ricardo Franco. 1-0 at the time, Connor was pure confidence heading into his fight, however, that would all come to an end in quick, shocking fashion.
In the opening minute of the first round, Franco would land an overhand left that would bring the fight to an early end – the result of a knockout blow.
Following the rather disappointing end of the ‘Prize Fighter’ opportunity for Tierney, it was uncertain when we would see him back inside the ring. However, his return would come quicker than most thought.
Losing is a part of any sport, and sometimes there’s no tougher loss than one in a combat based sport, where it’s one-on-one, and you’re testing your mental and physical abilities. Now, motivated as ever, Tierney is set to make his return at BKB 17 on June 8th, where he takes on Liam Cullen in his road back to the Indigo at the O2 in London, England.
Connor Tierney details his recent experience in suffering a knockout loss, and what the process was like to follow.
“No one wants to go out like that, especially when you know you had so much to show! It really shocked me, to be honest, and hurt me, but that’s the sport and it’s the risk I took and I got done over with a great shot. I literally laid in bed, struggling to get up the week after, and suffered mentally and physically after a heavy, hard long camp. It was over too soon and it put me in a tough time to get through it.” Tierney continues, “I think them losses really affect some fighters but for me, it is probably going to bring the best out of me.”
Having found the drive to compete again rather quickly, Connor touches on what motivated him to get out of bed and back to training for the up-and-coming pay-per-view event.
“I sat there very down after the loss, and I think the only thing that would have got me going was another fight. I needed to show everyone that I can come back and right the wrongs, to prove I am going to be a top contender, and that is exactly that. This fight motivates me to create a very quick and explicit come back to create the waves of me getting back to into the mix, on the path for world status. I know I’ve got a lot of potential to be there, and that is what drives me to come back so soon”
Liam Cullen, the man to welcomes Tierney back to the bare-knuckle boxing ring, has fought the likes of Sean George, the current BKB™ lightweight champion. No slouch, Connor admits this is going to be a “hard fight” style wise but remains confident he’s the better boxer and will leave the victor.
“Liam is a nice lad and a very tricky fighter. He switches his stance, got a good following and to be honest, probably style wise going to be a hard fight to get into. He’s light on his feet like myself. and has got some slickness there, but I know I am an elite operator in boxing, it’s my craft and it will take very good boxers to take me out of my stride. I’ve learnt my mistakes from the last fight, and I will take them into this as positives. It’s going to be a great redemption fight for us both and for the fans, but I’m confident on this one.”
Cullen has been on the receiving end of a knockout blow (vs. Sean George in their BKB 11 bout), and is ultimately looking for the same thing(s) as Tierney – redemption, and a spot back in the win column.
Reflecting on his loss further, Tierney is aware of the mistakes made in his last performance against Franco and will look to make the appropriate adjustments ahead of his fight. He hopes to show everyone what was cut short on March 30th.
When asked about his personal modifications being made for Cullen, and what went wrong at BKB 16, Tierney says: “100 per cent there were mistakes made that led to me getting caught. I was too relaxed with the right hand, I overlooked my opponent and was too loose with the right hand, which Rico was looking to expose and he did it perfectly. I really hope this time I show what I’ve been working towards and people realize that I actually can be at the top.”
June 8th is more than just a day to prove Connor Tierney is worthy of a victory, but also that he’s potentially one of the best the sport has to offer. At BKB 17, Tierney will look to prove he’s “top tier”, looking to display his growth since his knockout defeat.
Here’s what we can expect on fight night.
“My head will be screwed on. I will be more alert of what’s coming back and aiming to show I have erased what caused my mistakes. I hope everyone will see how skilful I am and how much I can prove myself to be at the top tier!”