Young Irish amateur stars show why boxing “really is the best sport in the world”


The fight of the weekend at the National Under 22 Championships came on Friday night in the middleweight division.

In the semi-finals, Olympic BC stylist Gabriel Dossen took on St Michael’s Athy talent John Joyce in a high-quality battle of the southpaws.

Two of the top young fighters in the country, Dossen would win on the night via unanimous decision, being just too quick and long for Joyce. The victory saw him set up a final with Holy Family Drogheda’s Christopher O’Reilly this Saturday night.

dossen joyce fight

Amazingly, just four days on from their clash in the National Stadium, Dossen and Joyce were reacquainted in the ring tonight – this time at Olympic BC in Galway.

To help his conqueror prepare for his final, Joyce made the cross-country trip for some sparring – a true display of sportsmanship.

Dossen’s coach Mike Mongan noted how “from boxing each other Friday night in Dublin in the U22 Championships to helping each other with sparring tonight in Galway – it really is the best sport in the world!”

dossen joyce sparring 1

The pair are two of Ireland’s most decorated underage boxers of recent times. During his teenage years, Joyce claimed an incredible five European medals (Schoolboys gold and bronze, Junior gold, and Youth silver and bronze). Dossen made his breakthrough less than two years ago, but in that time has won World Youth bronze and European Youth bronze.

The championships, which are running alongside the U18 Open competition, are being used to help determine the team for the European Men’s U22 Championships in Romania in March.

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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]