70% Céire Smith ready to unlock her full potential and claim international medal


“How much of me was in there?” Céire Smith asked her coach Brian McKeown with a smirk on Saturday night.

“70%” came the reply from the veteran trainer who developed Olympic silver medalist John Joe Nevin among others.

Smith had just claimed her sixth Irish Elite Senior title, taking top prize at flyweight with a clear win over young talent Niamh Earley.

Having missed last year’s edition due to relocating to Australia for college, the Cavan fighter was back at the National Stadium and looked comfortable in victory.

Smith had spoken beforehand about savouring her time in the ring, and told Irish-Boxing.com afterward that “I enjoyed it. I had looked forward to coming back and picking up my title.

“That girl was a very good opponent, a very cute boxer, and you could tell she was an U22 champion and Junior World silver medalist for a reason.”

“I felt quite flat tonight but it’s about shaking the rust off. I haven’t had any sparring or quality opposition since the Ulsters.”

“It was great getting into a fresh competition and I really enjoyed tonight. This is the night of Irish boxing.”

Her third fight since returning last Summer, Smith had previously beaten top English bantam Ramala Ali and reigning Irish champion Carly McNaul and now wants to kick on and finally start performing to the best of her abilities.

Health issues had kept Smith from firing on all cylinders and the Ulsterwoman is keen to make a breakthrough internationally.

A veteran of overseas trips, Smith believes she can win her first major international medal, with European, World, and Universities championships scheduled in for 2018.

The 25-year-old, in line for a return to the High Performance Unit and a trip abroad to America this month, outlined how “it will be nice to get back into full-time training.”

“I need to get back in the motions of High Performance training, getting that quality sparring in and sharpening up. That was my first fight since the Ulsters, I was shaking off the ring rust.”

“It’ll be good to sharpen up and start producing the results I feel I should have got but had one thing or another prevent me.”

“I’d like a clean slate to go in and be 110% and show what I can actually do on the international scene. That would be an honour, to represent Ireland internationally and win a medal.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: [email protected]