CLARE boxers Paddy O’Donovan and Martin J Mongan met with mixed fortunes in the welterweight and heavyweight finals of the national senior and U/21 championships at the National Stadium in Dublin last Friday night. Welterweight O’Donovan, who boxes out of the Our Lady of Lourdes club in Limerick, prevailed for his tenth national title in as many years with a superb performance against Jason Kyne (Celtic Eagles) while Mongan came up short on a split 3-2 decision, against Dubliner Daniel O’Brien .
Mongan, with height and reach advantage over O’Brien, carried all the big shots in the first round and looked as if he might overwhelm his opponent but O’Brien rallied in the second to tie up matters with a series of solid and accurate right-handers. It was ‘ tit for tat’ in the early seconds of the final round. O’Brien took the initiative midway through the round with a good left hook to Mongan’s head and the punch seemed to serve as a stimulus , eliciting some powerful combinations from the Ennis boxer but the judges called it for the Dubliner.
Mongan was dejected but philosophical after the bout and he felt that his inaccuracy in the second round was his undoing, as he tried to take his opponent out . He is just 19 and has a bright future according to his coach Sean Carrig but emphasises that he has to go back to basics and his undoubted boxing skills . He is a six times Irish title-holder with youth on his side.
Southpaw O’Donovan is a powerful welterweight , unbeaten in championship boxing and rated Young boxer of the Year by his peers. He paraded all of his southpaw skills against Kyne on Friday night. He dictated matters from long range in the first round before upping the ante in the second , with absorbing body shots , and he forced the Leinster champion to take a standing count. He drew a caution from the referee early in the third for two low shots but seemed unperturbed as he strode majestically to his tenth title. O’Donovan was the only Munster boxer to claim gold and Mongans’ silver was a welcome boost for boxing in the south.