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Taking it on the chin: Daly’s GB blow

Flyweight takes a break from the ring to concentrate on coaching

04 March, 2021 — By Steve Barnett

Islington Boxing Club captain Connor ‘Dollar’ Daly (right)

BOXER Connor “Dollar” Daly joked that he is looking forward to a few well-earned pizza slices after announcing he is taking a break from the ring.

The Islington Boxing Club captain finally received the email he had been waiting for from GB Boxing last week regarding his recent trials in Sheffield.

However, it wasn’t the news that the 21-year-old flyweight was hoping for as he just missed out on a place in the Team GB Boxing World Class Academy Squad.

“2020 was a very difficult year for everyone,” said Connor. “It gave me a lot of time to think about the past and the future.

“I’ve been boxing for nine years, had 56 bouts, boxing some big names.

“I’ve experienced a lot, achieved a bit, got to a very high standard, and boxed around the world.

“I recently had my final GB assessment and felt I performed well, but unfortunately didn’t get the nod.”

Connor earned his invitation to the GB HQ after finishing as runner-up in the National Amateur Boxing Championships in his first tournament as a senior in 2019. The assessment was delayed due to an injury and the pandemic, but he finally got his big chance during the lockdowns in November and January.

“Both of my assessments came at difficult times. Me and my teammates have not boxed or sparred for nearly a year. Both assessments were great experiences, especially training in the fantastic EIS Sheffield alongside some great people.”

Despite being unsuccessful, Connor isn’t about to let the disappointment knock his love for the sport.

While he has ruled out turning professional, Connor will continue to share his skills and experiences as a Level 1 qualified England coach. And there have been some fantastic experiences along the way, including being crowned London champion in 2019 at the Royal National Hotel in Russell Square, Bloomsbury.

“I’ve decided to concentrate on coaching for now,” explained Connor, who regularly hosts sessions at Islington BC in Hazellville Road, Upper Holloway.

“I coach all levels of boxers and people who just want to get fit, learn a new skill and build confidence, or battle anxiety and depression.

“I feel that with my experience, insight, and ability to explain and describe things in a way that people can understand, I will become a very good coach.”

He added: “Turning professional was an option a couple of years ago but after speaking to people in the know and who also experienced it, it doesn’t sound very appealing. There are easier ways to make a living than boxing!”

During lockdown Connor hasn’t taken his foot off the gas. With the help of his dad, Kevin, he transformed a metal shed in his garden into a miniature home gym.

“The instructions said it would take eight hours to build, but it took me and my dad eight days,” Connor revealed. “It has massively helped me stay mentally and physically heathy.”

Focusing on the future, he added: “Who knows, I may feel different about things once the club is eventually back open and I’m watching my teammates box.

“I’ve not hung my gloves up just yet but will enjoy a few Papa John’s pizzas whilst I’m at it!”

Islington BC plan to put Connor forward to complete his Level 2 coaching badge at the first possible opportunity. He is already one of the youngest qualified coaches in the country, is a registered England Boxing official and volunteers to judge at club shows across London alongside his father.

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