Blaine Dobbins is ready to step out of the shadows and become a star of Irish boxing.
The 25 year old Derry light flyweight has been around for a while, but always flew under the radar due to Paddy Barnes’ stranglehold of the Irish division.
With amateur legend Barnes gone pro, Dobbins feels it is now his time, and took the first step towards taking over at the weekend. The experienced little man edged his Elite Senior semi final with Wexford teen Connor Jordan on a split decision.
Dobbins spoke to Irish-Boxing.com following the razor-tight win and admitted that “it was a very close fight.”
“He had a bit more range than me so I had to fight and get in and work the body. The left hand to the body suited me, and the right hook to the head. He was very skillful and very rangey, so it was a lot of work and I’m very happy I won that fight.”
“I noticed that in the end the experience came in. He’s a very good lad, tricky, one for the future.”
“I’m looking forward to moving on to the final.”
With triple Olympian Barnes gone pro, last year’s champion Stevie McKenna gone up in weight, and last year’s runner-up Reagan Buckley also gone pro, the Ulsterman is convinced that it is now finally his time.
“I’m the next number one light fly, one hundred percent” he asserted. “I missed out on last year, but then the year before I was beaten in the semis fighting Paddy Barnes in a good, close fight.”
“I’ve been around the block for a while but I never got the chance because Paddy was number one. The fact now that he’s away professional, which I wish him all the best in, means that I’m the next number one.”
The man standing in his way in Friday night’s decider will be recent Under-22 champion Darryl Moran, and Dobbins is familiar with the bull-like Donegal boxer.
“He’s only down the road from me in Buncrana,” explained the St Joseph’s fighter. “I know Darryl well, Darryl is a good lad. We’ve sparred a few times and it should be a good final.”
Eric Donovan joins Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill on Episode 2 of the Irish Boxing Show: