Darren O’Neill’s Extraordinary Comeback – Boxing News

New and old champions are crowned at the Irish National Championships, including the remarkable return of Darren O’Neill

THE Irish Elite Championships ended on October 2 at the National Stadium in Dublin. Middleweight Aoife O’Rourke, who won her final by walkover, was the only Olympian in Tokyo to compete. But of note, Darren O’Neill, a 2012 middleweight Olympian, came back to 86kg and won another national title — after a four-year hiatus and 16 and a half years since he first competed in an elite championship. He defeated Faolain Rahill on a unanimous decision. It was his eighth national title.

Ireland has a legacy of featherweight talent, with Kurt Walker impressing at the recent Olympics wondering if he would turn professional. Byt now Adam Hession comes through at 57 kg in this tournament, beating Sean Purcell in a unanimous decision in their final and winning the prize for best male boxer of the tournament.

The winner of the female boxer prize of the tournament was Sara Hagightat-Jo from St. Brigds, Edndery weighing 54 kg. They unanimously defeated Ballyboughal’s Niamh Fay in their final.

A rising middleweight is Olympic Galway’s Gabriel Dossen. He defeated Sean Donaghy of St. Canices by unanimous points judgment in the 75kg final.

A European youth gold medalist, flyweight Daina Moorehouse won a senior national title with her unanimous points victory over Niamh Early.

Of the 20 finals held that day, only two ended up close. Enniskerry’s Kaci Rock stopped Tobair Pheadair’s Kiesha Attwell in the third round of a 66kg final, while Kelyn Cassidy stopped Tommy Hyde in the first round with 80kg.

In a thrilling 71kg final, Kieron Molloy won his third senior elite title. Oughterard’s boxer was unanimously better than Esker’s Luke Maguire. “This one meant a lot,” he said.


48: Shannon Sweeney defeated Carol Coughlin unanimously; Ricky Nesbitt without. 50: Caitlin Fryers defeated Nicole Clyde (Antrim BC) unanimously. 51: Paddy McShane defeated Paudraic Downey split. 52: Daina Moorehouse defeated Niamh Early unan. 54: Sara Hagightat-Jo defeated Niamh Fay split; Jake Rapple without. 57: Jennifer Lehane defeated Kellie McLoughlin unanimously; Adam Hession defeated Sean Purcell unanimously. 60: Amy Broadhurst without; John Paul Hale defeated Dominic Bradley unanimously. 63: Eve Woods defeated Gillian Duffy unanimously. Brandon McCarthy defeated Jack McGivern unanimously. 66: Kaci Rock Quit Kiesha Attwell 3rd. 67: Eugene McKeever defeated Wayne Kelly in split. 70: Evelyn Igharo defeated Lisa O’Rourke unan. 71: Kieran Molloy defeated Luke Maguire unan. 75: Aoife O’Rourke without; Gabriel Dossen defeated Sean Donaghy unan. 80: Kelyn Cassidy stpd Tommy Hyde 1NS. 81: Bethany Doocey defeated Nel Fox unan. 86: Darren O’Neill defeated Faolain Rahill unan. 92: Jack Marley defeated Marcin Skalski unan. 92&: Martin Keenan defeated Thomas Maughan split.

TG4 showed the final:

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