New generation of fighters

While Rebecca Dillon and Richard Kiely have hogged the limelight in recent weeks – and deservedly so – they are not the only active fighters making lots of headway at the Black Panther club.

There’s also Kieran Lee, a 67kg full-contact fighter with a knockout punch.

Norman Kelly, Black Panther chief instructor, said: “Kieran’s very strong, very powerful, and a really hard hitter. We’ve high hopes for him.”

John Mongan is also making great strides as he quietly goes about his business at the club’s Brookfield Gym in Tallaght.

“John’s an up-and-coming fighter, who’s just moved into full-contact,” explained Norman of the 60kg fighter. “And his younger brother, Bob, is making steady progress, too.”

And Norman added: “John’s got very good timing and he’s also one of the most dedicated students in the club.”

There’s also Keith Burns (55kg) and Jessica Dillon (47kg). Jessica (pictured in the red head gear) is Rebecca’s niece and, by all accounts, a cracking footballer, too.

Norman said: “This club is about more than one or two fighters, but Rebecca, especially, and Richard, have set high standards for them to follow.”

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