DEALGAN Boxing Club’s Martin O’Donnachadha stepped into the ring on his maiden voyage into the world of boxing on March 18 to face local fighter Ciaran O’Poil from Kilcullen Boxing Club.
Both 11-year-olds were boxing at 70kgs in the final of the Boy 1 Leinster Championships which were held in in Newbridge, Co Kildare
Watched nervously by his family in the large crowd, Martin boxed with determination and skill over 3 x 1.5 minute rounds to claim his very first Leinster title by winning the fight on a scoreline of 12-8.
This victory automatically qualified him to box the winner of the Connacht Boy 1 Championships in the All Ireland final on Saturday April 6, his opponent this time was Yannick Scheerer from St Anne’s Boxing Club in Westport, Co Mayo.
Martin again nervously entered the ring in the National Stadium in Dublin, very much aware of the fact that so many well known names had boxed in this very same ring such as Kenneth Egan, Joe Ward, John Joe Nevin and of course Katie Taylor among others. The stadium was packed and the noise deafening when the bell sounded for the beginning of the fight.
Both boxers manfully moved forward to the centre of the ring where they nervously circled each other for some seconds until the first jab was thrown by Martin followed by a straight right hand which settled him down completely. He kept his work rate high for the entire round and was leading by 3-2 at the end of the first.
The second round saw Martin’s opponent come forward more as he knew he was behind and was chasing the fight. This caused him to leave openings for Martin to score, which he did, particularly with a straight right hand which resulted in the referee giving the St Anne’s boxer a standing count. The fight continued with both boxers giving it their all until the bell ended the second round. Martin at this stage was two points ahead.
The third round began with Martin knowing that he needed to keep his opponent under pressure.
He did this beautifully as he pushed him back with constant jabs and straight rights, one of which caught the Kildare fighter and the referee immediately stepped in to stop the fight. Shortly after a delighted Martin’s hand was raised by the referee to announce him as All Ireland champion at Boy 1, 70kgs.
What a thrill for a talented young boxer to realise that by training hard and being disciplined it’s entirely possible to achieve his dream and to emulate exactly what those great names had done before him.