One of the most decorated underage Irish fighters of recent times made his arrival to the Elite Senior scene last week with a bang.
Galway welterweight Kieran Molloy won three fights en-route to claiming silver at the prestigious Feliks Stamm multi-nations in Poland.
A stellar career in the headguard saw Molloy win eight Irish titles, European Schoolboys bronze, European and World Junior bronze, and a sensational gold at the ‘Mini World Championships’ – the Nikolay Pavlyukov Youth Memorial.
The Oughterard teen didn’t compete at the Irish U22s or Seniors, so last week took his first step into the big leagues.
Over in Warsaw, 18 year old Molloy overcame Norwegian Jamshid Nasari, Pole Gibaldo Maksymilin, and Armenian Garnik Papikyan, before losing an unfortunate split to Poland’s Mateusz Kostecki in the final, a bout in which he received an extremely harsh warning in the opening round.
Speaking to Irish-Boxing.com, Molloy noted how “the decision in the final was very poor, I got a warning in the first round which was absolutely ridiculous.”
“It was my first senior elite tournament for Ireland as I just moved from the youths, and I prefer boxing without a head guard as your head is a smaller target and you’re more aware of punches coming from the side.”
This writer recalls talking to Rio Olympian Steven Donnelly last year. During the conversation, Molloy’s name would crop up and Donnelly would remark that he was a top talent – before being shocked to learn that his tough sparring partner was only 17 years old at the time.
A name that promises to be a fixture at the National Stadium for the foreseeable future, Molloy described how “I’m an aggressive southpaw and I like to double attack.”
Still only young, Molloy plans to be busy in the coming months, and outlined that “my plan for the rest of the year is the Haringey Box Cup in June, I’m also still eligible for the Intermediates, the U22’s and then the Senior Elites.”
Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill on Episode 4 of The Irish Boxing Show