Limerick boxer continues Kevin Sheehy’s role model legacy

Limerick boxer Kian Hedderman

THE POWER of fitness and positive role models is a driving force for a young Limerick man who has been inspired by the legacy of murdered champion boxer Kevin Sheehy.

Kian Hedderman has had considerable success in his boxing career so far, despite only taking up the sport over the lockdown period.

Last year, Kian won the Irish Senior title, as well as consecutive Celtic Cup titles in 2021 and 2022. On March 8, he took home the Under-22 All-Ireland title, and he’s not done yet.

Speaking to the Limerick Post, the 19-year-old Southill man said it was the positive influence of the late Kevin Sheehy that made him take up boxing.

“Being from the same place, growing up in Southill and looking out your door, seeing the boys in robbed cars and then looking out and seeing Kevin running, there was just something powerful about that.

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“The way everyone spoke about Kevin and how everyone looked at him and thought about him, I just wanted to be in that situation myself. I wanted to be like him.”

Kian hopes to encourage other young people into boxing and away from negative influences, a vocation he carries through to his day job as a youth worker in St Augustine’s Special School on Sexton Street.

“Some young lads there are from the same area as us. They’re boxers themselves. To be honest, it’s not even like a job because I enjoy it so much, and they kind of look up to the boxing.

“It’s given me a goal to bring it back to them as well – every tournament, every fight, I think about them.

“They’re a big help because maybe one day they can look up to me like I looked up to Kevin. The cycle goes on. If I can change just one person in my whole career, that’s like a world title,” he said.

The Our Lady of Lourdes clubman is trained by Martin ‘Gugu’ Donovan, father of pro boxers Paddy and Edward Donovan, an ambition that Kian shares.

“I want to be number one in my country, I want to go to the Olympics, and then I want to go pro.

“I want to be the best, I want to be world champion. I want to be the best version of myself first. That’s what I want to be, I want to be the best.”