“We started to laugh!” – Shauna Blaney overcomes team-mate in friendly final


Shauna Blaney scored two wins in 24 hours at the weekend to claim the Irish U22 title in Dublin at the National Stadium.

The Navan fighter has left the underage ranks and stepped up in weight, and claimed the 57kg crown on Saturday afternoon with a win over Labhaoise Clarke.

It was a hectic weekend for Blaney, younger sister of pro middleweight Chris, who was the only fighter who fought twice across the U18 and U22 tournaments.

However, rather than hinder her, the Meath boxer was pleased to get a semi-final in against Mary-Kate Slattery the night before her final.

“It was tough but I was glad I had a semis before the final to get the ring rust off me because it had been almost a year since I’ve boxed in that ring,” Blaney told Irish-Boxing.com.

“Yes I felt it was tough for me fitness-wise after me just getting over the flu but I was waking up at seven each morning and going running because I knew it was going to be tough mentally as well.”

It the decider, Blaney was faced with Clarke, a multiple-time Irish champion and team-mate whom she had travelled to both the World and European Youths with last year.

It was a bit different for the European Junior bronze medalist, who described how “I was very nervous for this fight because we are friends and we’ve travelled together.”

“We both tried to keep a straight face when we were touching gloves but I think I broke first and we started to laugh!”

” I thought the fight went well, but of course there’s always improvements to be done. I knew after the second round it was close but I was confident I was winning but I had to win the third round to make sure I won.”

Still only 18 years old and unsure of her best weight, Blaney does not know what is ahead for 2018, with the National Elite Seniors this month and the European Under-22s next month.

She outlined how “I’ll have to talk to the father and see what our plan is now.”

“I’d love to do both, I might even, we’ll just have to wait and see.”

“I did feel a lot stronger at 57kg but I struggled to make 51kg, I was skin a bone and I had no strength for the Worlds – but I felt real sluggish at 57kg…”

“But it was all for experience and a plan to see what weight I’ll be doing for the year coming .”

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]