The final of the much debated senior box-offs for the European Championships took place on Saturday as a curtain raiser to the National Youth Finals. Michael McDonagh (St Marys) was required to once again prove himself top-dog at the 60Kg division having been requested to prove once again he is worthy of a place on the Irish team for the up and coming European championships.
Over the last week there has been much debate regarding the decision to force the Senior Champion to in respect win his title all over again. To the joy of many at the National Stadium Michael McDonagh stepped up to the mark this weekend to book is plane ticket Ankara on June 11th.
First beating Eric Donovan on Friday on count back 38-36 after the fight ended 7-7, McDonagh set up a re-run of last February’s final against Davie Oliver Joyce. In what turns into a fascinating final, the lead changing hands continuously throughout the bout. Right at the very end of the contest with the scores level at 7-7 McDonagh hit the ticket purchasing button to cross the finish line as the 8-7 winner and get his just deserves in the opinion of many at the SCR venue.
In what was a disappointing day for St Michaels boxing club, the 69Kg box-off final saw Willie McLoughlin (Illies GG) triumph over former Irish Champion and Olympian John Joe Joyce (St Michaels Athy) on a score-line of 9.8. Again this was a toe to toe battle, but the bout seemed to always be siding towards McLoughlin.
John Joe said afterwards that he was “disappointed that he couldn’t repeat his performance of the semi-final and win the contest”.
In a Senior Cadets Box off at 75Kg, David Kennedy (Gorey) won on a close count-back 36-35 after the fight had finished 7-7 against a brave Richie McDonagh (Darndale)