National Under-22 Championships – FINALS PREVIEW


This Saturday afternoon at the National Stadium will see the conclusion of the National Under 22 Championships.

The tournament, fought in without headgear, offers a bridge between underage and senior level and, for the men, it also acts a major factor in selection for the European U22 Championships this coming March in Romania.

A top-quality field will be competing at the home of Irish boxing, with Elite, Senior, and reigning champions galore along with a number of major international medalists.

Check out Irish-Boxing.com’s look ahead to all 16 bouts below.

Men’s Light Flyweight – 49kg
No Entrants

Men’s Flyweight – 52kg
Conor Quinn (Clonard) v Mark Corcoran (Corinthians)
Runner-up to Olympian Brendan Irvine at the Ulster Senior, for which he won the best young boxer award, Belfast’s Quinn received a bye to the final here. He faces Intermediate semi-finalist Corcoran, who defeated last year’s Senior semi-finalist Conor Jordan at the weekend.

Men’s Bantamweight – 56kg
Jordan Smith (Holy Family Drogheda) v Jordan Moore (Glasnevin)
Champion at 52kg last year, Dubliner Moore continues to move up through the weights. His opponent stepped up to U22 level at the weekend with a good win over Colum Colleton to set up a battle of the Jordans

Men’s Lightweight – 60kg
Francis Cleary (Ballina) v Patryk Adamus (Drimnagh)
After a period down at bantam last year, 2016 Intermediate and European Junior silver medalist Cleary is back at lightweight and has scored two successive split wins over Ben Teeling and European Youth bronze medalist Terry McEntee. Recent Intermediate runner-up, where he lost to McEntee, Adamus stopped Daryl O’Brien and edged Shane Flavin to set up the decider.

Men’s Light Welterweight – 64kg
Matthew McCole (Dungloe) v Kenneth Doyle (Monkstown Dublin)
A repeat of the recent Intermediate final – won by Doyle on a 4-1 split. Both have been there or thereabouts in recent years and it promises to be a tight fight.

Men’s Welterweight – 69kg
Paddy Donovan (O.L.O.L.) v Michael Avetisian (Glasnevin)
An intriguing bout and a fantastic clash of styles. Donovan stopped Avetisian in the U18s last year at 64kg, and the weight-drained Dubliner subsequently stepped up to the more comfortable welterweight class. World Junior silver medalist Donovan, tipped by many as a future star, is only at 69kg for these championships and plans to drop back down for the Seniors.

Men’s Middleweight – 75kg
Gabriel Dossen (Olympic Galway) v Chris O’Reilly (Holy Family D) FRIDAY
The only final to take place on Friday night, World and European Youth bronze medalist Dossen scored a stunning win over John Joyce in the semis and this final is something of a meet in the middle affair. Both were on the Irish team at the World Youths in 2016, with Dossen medaling at 64kg and O’Reilly just missing out at 81kg.

Men’s Light Heavyweight – 81kg
Conor Wallace (Holy Family D) v Brian Kennedy (St Marys Daingean)
2016 Senior runner-up and reigning Ulster champion Wallace takes on reigning Irish U22 champion Kennedy in what is perhaps the fight of the night.

Men’s Heavyweight – 91kg
James Clarke (Kilnamanagh) v Kevin Sheehy (St Francis)
Dubliner Clarke is down from super heavy, where he entered the Seniors last year, and is pitted against the highly-rated Sheehy who was perhaps the stand-out performer at the recent Intermediates.

Men’s Super Heavyweight – 91+kg
Martin J Mongan (Ennis) v Jake Patterson (Crumlin)
Underage star Mongan makes the step up in level and claimed a win over last year’s runner-up Cian O’Shaughnessy to book his place in the final. Patterson also had a big win in the semis, taking out 2016 Intermediate champ Cormac Long. Expect bombs to be thrown.

Women’s Light Flyweight – 48kg
Emma Feeney (Virginia) v Shannon Sweeney (St Annes)
Reigning champion and Senior runner-up, Sweeney defeated Courtney Daly on a 4-1 split to reach the final. Finney received a bye and will be hoping to end a streak of second places.

Women’s Flyweight – 51kg
Nycole Hayes (Togher) v Niamh Earley (Ryston)
A clash of champions. Rebelette Hayes claimed the Intermediate title at 51kg last month and received a bye to the final here. Earley took the 54kg crown last month and is stepping down in weight. She defeated Chloe O’Keefe in the semis at the weekend.

Women’s Bantamweight – 54kg
Kellie McLoughlin of Drimnagh has received a walkover.

Women’s Featherweight – 57kg
Labhaoise Clarke (Cardonagh) v Mary Kate Slattery (St. Michaels D)/Shauna Blaney (Navan)
A seasoned international campaigner, Clarke received a bye to the final and will face the winner of Friday night’s semi between Novice champion Slattery and the experienced Blaney.

Women’s Lightweight – 60kg
Nicole Moorehouse (Crumlin) v Amy Broadhurst (Dealgan)
Underage medal machine Broadhurst is the reigning champion by virtue of a walkover last year. This year she has a final and faces Dubliner Moorehouse – who won the 57kg title last year.

Women’s Light Welterweight – 64kg
No Entries

Women’s Welterweight – 69kg
Ciara Sheedy (Ardnaree) v Ciara Ginty (Geesala)
Reigning Senior champion Ginty has stepped up in weight and will be a hot favourite in what is a straight final.

Women’s Middleweight – 75kg
Aoife O’Rourke (Castlerea) v Samantha O’Grady (St Marys NR)
Runner-up at 69kg last year, O’Grady will be looking to go one better here. She faces a tough task though against O’Rourke who blasted her way to the Intermediate 69kg title last month with a first round stoppage in the final.

Women’s Heavyweight – 81+kg
Nell Fox of Rathkeale has received a walkover.

dpg

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]