After enduring two broken noses, one that required extensive reconstructive surgery, Patrick Farrell was determined to get back into the boxing ring and resume his professional career.
“I had to get back into the ring,” Farrell said. “It’s what I wanted to do. It was one of the most miserable things I ever went through, but it was part of the reason why I wanted to fight again.”
But during his nearly two-year long hiatus, Farrell had a lot going on. He entered the Jersey City Fire Academy and eventually became a firefighter a year ago.
Being a member of the Jersey City Fire Department enabled Farrell to have the time to properly train to get back into boxing shape and return to the form that made him known as “Paddy Boy.”
“I got up to 235 pounds,” Farrell said. “I got back to my football weight.”
Farrell, who was a standout linebacker first at St. Peter’s Prep and later LaSalle University, had to get back to his fighting weight.
“That was the most important thing,” Farrell said. “I had to get my feet wet and start moving toward coming back.”
It meant that if Farrell returned, it would have to be in uncharted territory – as a heavyweight.
“I’m a little light at heavyweight, but I had to do it for now,” Farrell said. “The objective was to get back to cruiserweight. I could be a monster at cruiserweight.”
Last Saturday night, the 29-year-old Farrell climbed back into the ring in a familiar setting, at the Prudential Center in Newark, as part of the undercard of the Tomasz Adamek-Eddie Chambers main event. Adamek, the native of Poland, is the former Jersey City resident who still trains in Jersey City and fought for the WBO world heavyweight title last September.
“It’s spectacular,” Farrell said. “I love fighting at the Prudential Center. Being so close to Jersey City, it’s great to get such fantastic fan support as I do. It’s another reason why I had to get back in the ring, to be able to fight in front of my family and friends.”
It was the fourth time that Farrell fought at “The Rock” and he made the night memorable, earning a four-round unanimous decision over David Williams of Philadelphia.
Farrell had nothing but praise for his opponent.
“That was one tough customer,” Farrell said. “He’s an experienced guy with a lot of fights. And he’s a true heavyweight.”
Farrell drilled Williams in the second round, forcing a standing eight-count.
“I thought they were stopping the fight right there,” Farrell said. “Even after the eight-count, he was still wobbly. But he came back out.”
Farrell was clearly ahead in the fight, but almost found defeat in the last seconds.
“He caught me in the closing seconds and he hurt me a little bit, but to my credit, I didn’t go down,” Farrell said. “I found the will to win. He was one of the toughest guys I ever fought.”
Farrell improved his pro record to 7-1-1 with the win. He will take a few weeks off to recover, then hit the gym hard for his next challenge. Fighting fires during the day, training at night.
“I’ll be right back into the gym,” Farrell said. “This was a good test for me, but I’m glad to be back. It was an absolutely spectacular night to be here in front of a great crowd. It’s unbelievable to have the support I do. They follow me everywhere I go.”
Adamek also won his fight, defeating Chambers in a 12-round decision. It was Adamek’s second straight win since his loss to Vitali Klitschko for the heavyweight title last September…
Bad news for Hudson Catholic’s basketball program: Michael Young, the 6-foot-10 forward who gained notoriety last year for breaking the basket in a game against Memorial, has left the school and will transfer to St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark. The Hawks should be one of the best teams in the state next season, but this is a crushing blow, as Young is a Division I talent…
There was also bad news for the St. Peter’s Prep football team. Marquise Watson, a standout defensive tackle and two-time Hudson Reporter All-Area honoree, has left Grand and Warren and he’s headed somewhere else to play in the fall, maybe Paramus Catholic…
Speaking of Hudson Catholic, basketball coach Nick Mariniello has been named the school’s new athletic director. Mariniello will handle both roles in the future…
Congrats to Secaucus native Mike Falco on being named the new head boys’ basketball coach at Hunterdon Central High School. Falco had been an assistant at The College of New Jersey for the last few years…
Former St. Anthony and Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor is expected to hear his name called at the NBA Draft Thursday, June 28. The NBA Draft is taking place at the Prudential Center in Newark. It will be a great honor for the Hoboken native if he’s selected…
Former Hudson Reporter Male Athlete of the Year Jose Veras, the former Dickinson track star, is continuing his winning ways after high school. Veras ran a 1.47.86 in winning gold medal in the 800-meter run at the Holmdel Invitational elite meet and recently set the new 800-meter record for the Dominican Republic, where he had been training…
The Hudson Reporter Male and Female Athletes of the Year will be presented in future weeks, so make sure to look out for those features… -- Jim Hague.
Jim Hague can be reached at OGSMAR@aol.com.