Nearly two thousand Irish boxing fans packed the National Stadium on Friday night to witness three young boxers winning senior titles for the first time. The night’s main feature was the clash at 81k between ten times Senior Champion Kenny Egan and the young pretender to the crown in World Junior and Youth Champion Joe Ward. In attempting to explain the events that unfolded it was simply that “Ward came, he saw and he conquered”. To many this was a fight that had come a little early for the seventeen year old, but he showed composure beyond his years that explained in full the reasons for his success on the world stage and junior level. In a cagey first round Ward led 2-1 at the break, but the second saw Eagan pick up the pace as the round finished 4-4. By the second Egan was starting to show why he has been champion for so long .The third stanza disaster had settled upon the Clondalkin hero as he conceded two public warnings and a standing count to surrender his ten year tenure as Irish champion on a score of 11-6.
Second on the ‘didn’t see it coming’ list was at 64Kg where Ross Hickey (Grangecon/ army ) beat Phillip Sutcliffe by a score line of 14.4. Hickey a former champ in 2008 at 60Kg got his game plan perfect in outgunning the 2009 victor. At the end of the first round scores were tied at three a piece, but Hickey started to pull away in the second with some clinical counterpunching to return to he stool 7-4 up. In the final round as Sutcliffe chased the fight he was twice rocked by big right hands as the Sutcliffe game plan fell apart and Hickey crossed the line the clear winner on a score of 14-4
The third newcomer to the champions club was Michael Conlan who claimed the 52Kg strap in the opening bout of the evening when he provided an outstanding display to come from 4-1 down after the first round to win by 11-7.
At 69k Adam Nolan of Bray beat Karl Brabazon who had beaten John Joe Joyce in the semi-final. Nolan proved just too experience for the Dubliner, winning the contest on a score line of 13-4.
Michael McDonagh (St Marys) overcame his second St Michaels Athy boxer of the competition. Having already seen off Eric Donavon he won on a disqualification in the third against David Oliver Joyce who was alleged guilty of a crippling low blow.
Elsewhere within the weight divisions European champion Paddy Barnes picked up his fifth title at 49k beating courageous seventeen year old Evan Metcalfe on a score line of 9-1. At 56Kg John Joe Nevin proved to experienced and elusive against Tyrone Mc Cullagh (Holly family GG) winning on a score line of 5-2. Darren O’Neil repeated his win over last years beaten finalist Jason Quigley (Finn Valley) on a score of 7-5 on route to his third consecutive title. Going one better and clinching his forth in a row was Con Sheehan winning by a score of 9-3. In the final men’s contest of the night Cathal Mc Monagle proved to witty for newcomer Kenneth Okungbowa with a final score of 12-5
Greenjab would like to thank Louis O Meara for his excellent coverage of the 2011 Elite National Senior Championships and looks forward to further coverage of Irish amateur boxing as Louis becomes Greenjab’s main Amateur correspondent.