In his first full year of competitive boxing, Ricky ‘Nasty’ Nesbitt has succeeded in capturing an Irish title for himself and his local club Dealgan.
Ricky stepped into the boxing ring in the National Stadium on Saturday January 19 to box his opponent, Ben Nelson from the newly formed Townland boxing club in Belfast in the semi-final of the 51kg Flyweight division.
When the bell went for the first round Ricky didn’t hang around and got himself into the contest with an early start, throwing and scoring with his favourite combination of left jab, right hand followed by a left hook.
Fully aware of the importance of being ahead at the end of the first round, Ricky kept his work rate high and thankfully found himself leading 7–4 at the end of the first.
Knowing that all he had to do now was protect his lead, Ricky boxed the second round on the back foot but found his opponent to be game and strong and, despite the fact that he won the round by a single score and was now leading 11–6, it was decided at the end of the second that he should revert to his first round tactics.
This required him to box the last round toe to toe with his opponent and push him back. ‘Nasty’ Nesbitt was not found wanting and this he did with some ease again against a strong, game, physically fit opponent and in the end he won a very competitive contest quite comfortably.
The final of the 51kg division arrived seven days later and Ricky came up against Cavan BC’s Sebastian Stasiaczck, a heavily muscled southpaw.
When the bell went for the start of the round both boxers tried to take ownership of the centre of the ring which resulted in a keenly contested first round being fought with no quarter given or sought.
When the round ended Ricky found himself behind 3-1 on points and therefore had it all to do as statistics show that eight out of 10 boxers who are ahead at the end of the first usually end up winning.
It was therefore decided by his coaches that Ricky would have to outmuscle his muscular opponent in the second, this time getting his movement correct and throwing more straight right hands, which is always the antidote to the deadly poison of the dreaded southpaw.
Again he did what was asked of him with great determination and courage and due largely to the wonderful sparring he had had prior to this contest with his clubmates including European Champion Amy Broadhurst and Senior Cadet Champion Kalum McConville who are both southpaws. Ricky found himself ahead by a single score as the bell sounded to end the second.
It was now simply a case of who was physically and mentally the fittest as there was very little between both fighters going into the last.
The round started with both boxers giving it everything again as they stood toe to toe and traded punches in the centre of the ring until finally the Cavan boxer took a backward step.
Ricky knew the contest was over as he had won the mental battle and he continued to throw non stop punches until the end of the round while in the process pushing his opponent backward.
Finally the bell sounded to end the fight and shortly afterwards the referee raised the hand of Ricky ‘Nasty’ Nesbitt to announce him as All Ireland Novice champion at 51kg, winning it on a score of 14–13.
Ricky also boxed in the National Intermediates before Christmas and was only narrowly beaten by the eventual winner, a boxer who holds numerous national titles.
An Olympian in 2016? Watch this space!