ALL-IRE­LAND PADDY!

McKen­zie wins ti­tle for Ark­low BC

Bray People - - SPORT -

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.

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