McKenzie wins title for Arklow BC
PADDY MCKENZIE became Arklow's first Irish Boys Champion in 11 years when he won the title at the National Stadium at the weekend.
Paddy was one of three Arklow boxers who qualified by winning their Leinster titles in March.
The three boxers, Paddy, Liam Moore, and Sean Crowley, had been in a tough training regime in the build up to the championships and were in top condition.
Liam was Arklow's first boxer inaction against Nathan Reilly from Lucan, the Dublin champion, and took control from the start catching the Dublin boy with solid right crosses.
In the second round Liam caught his opponent with a fast combination and the referee stopped the contest.
In his second contest Liam boxed Ulster champion Saen McGenity from Silverbridge.
Liam had a bad first round getting caught with solid left crosses. In round 2, Liam changed tactics and went into fight mode to score with good rights to leave it in the last round to decide the contest.
In this round Liam attacked from start to finish and was getting on top at the final bell.
The judges went for McGenity on a split decision and Liam was out of the competition.
McGenity went on to win his final by a big margin. Sean Crowley had a slow first round against Jake O'Brien from St Colman's Cork who is Munster champion.
Sean stepped up the pace in round 2 to level the contest.
In the third Sean boxed brilliantly to score with solid combinations and looked to have done enough to win but the judges went 2-1 in favour of the Cork boy; a disappointment as a lot of people at ringside felt Sean should have got the decision.
O'Brien won his final with a one-sided victory. Paddy McKenzie met Irish champion, Alan Dempsey, from Achill, the Connacht champion in the quarterfinal and was in all sorts of bother in the first when Dempsey attacked non stop.
Paddy did score with a solid right body which hurt Dempsey at the end of the round.
In the second round Paddy turned the fight around with boxing skills catching Dempsey with solid left crosses to level the contest.
Paddy had a great last round to clinch the fight. His semi-final contest was against another Irish champion, Brian O'Dowd, from Gilford, who is Ulster champion.
Again, after a slow start Paddy had a brilliant second round scoring with solid right crosses and hard right hooks to level the fight.
It was in the third Paddy turned on the style to outbox O'Dowd to win clearly. In the final, Paddy met Francis Stokes from Three-bridges Dublin. Stokes had beaten paddy previously in The Michael Andrews championships in October so Paddy had a point to prove.
All three rounds were boxed at high tempo but it was Paddy's punches that were more explosive and he won a well deserved points decision. If luck had of been on their sides Arklow could have had three champions.
Arklow coaches are now concentrating on their three girls who have qualified for the National Girl Championships on May 9.
Leanne Doyle, Isabelle Dempsey, and Megan Meyler, will travel to the National Boxing Stadium to take part in the competition.
This will be the first time Arklow have boxers in the schoolgirls section of the championships and all three are expected to do well.