By Bernard O’Neill – IABA Press Officer
Katie Taylor claimed her first Irish title in the ring – her previous four wins were on walkovers – at the National Stadium in Dublin tonight.
The Olympic champion beat gallant Tipperary southpaw Shauna O’Keeffe in the lightweight final. The Clonmel BC ace, the first Irish woman to enter an Irish Championships against the AIBA five-time World Elite champion, gave a fine a account of herself over four two, minute rounds against a boxer than will be ranked No. 1 in the World for an unprecedented ten years on the trot in January.
Taylor won 40-36 across the board and praised O’Keeffe’s performance in the 60kg final.
Earlier tonight, Michaela Walsh denied Ceire Smith a sixth title in the flyweight class, the Belfast stand out dropping down a weight from bantam to take a unanimous decision in one of the Olympic weight classes for women.
Lauren Hogan secured the first belt on offer on a split following a close contest with Donna Barr. “Lauren is only nineteen and she has already won two Irish Elite titles. We’re absolutely thrilled with the win,” said coach Liam Brereton.
European Elite bronze medallist Clare Grace also emerged victorious, the Kilkenny welter beating Grainne Walsh. Moira McElligot and multiple champion Kelly Harrington triumphed at the expense of Joanne Lambe and Cheyanne O’Neill, while Dervla Duffy earned a majority decision over Elaine Harrison after one judge scored it even,
Dianna Campbell took the last belt on offer and brought the curtain down on the Women’s Championships on a unanimous decision over Maeve McCarron. Cork’s Christina Desmond received a walkover this evening.
The Men’s Elite Championships resume tomorrow evening at the National Stadium.
National Elite Championships National Stadium Dublin
48kg Lauren Hogan (St Brigids Edenderry) beat Donna Barr (Twin Towns) 2-1
51kg Michaela Walsh (Holy Family GG) beat Ceire Smith (Cavan) 3-0
54kg Dervla Duffy (St Brigids Kildare) beat Elaine Harrison (Ardnaree) 2-0
57kg Moira McElligott (Rathkeale) beat Joanne Lambe (Carrickmacross) 2-1
60kg Katie Taylor (Bray) beat Shauna O’Keeffe (Clonmel) 3-0
64kg Kelly Harrington (Glasnevin) beat Cheyanne O’Neill (Athlone) 3-0
69kg Clare Grace (Callan) beat Grainne Walsh (Sparticus) 3-0
75kg Christina Desmond (Fr Horgans) W/O
81+kg Diana Campbell (Garda) beat Maeve McCarron (Carrigart) 3-0