Clann Naofa boxers Evelyn Igharo and Shauna O’Callaghan each won gold medals at the IABA National Stadium in a major boxing competition which was held by the IABA governing body to select the girls team that will represent Ireland in the forthcoming European Youth and Junior Championships which will be held in Poland in June 2017.
Competition for the honour of representing Ireland was of a high standard as the majority of the competitors were Irish or Provincial Champions.
In the Junior section Clann Naofa was represented by 63 kilo boxer Evelyn Igharo whose opponent was the Leinster Champion Denise Campion from the Marble City Boxing Club, KIlkenny. Evelyn herself a seven times Irish Champion took no chances in this contest and from the opening bell of round one she set about dismantling the Kilkenny boxer with lethal, accurate left jabs setting up her trademark punch where she spun and delivered her right hand with such precision that the referee stepped in immediately to give the Kilkenny boxer a standing eight count.
On the referee’s command to continue boxing Evelyn sensed victory and overwhelmed Champion with a combination of punches forcing the referee to call an immediate halt to the contest declaring Evelyn the winner by TKO in the first round.
In the youth section Clann Naofa’s fifty seven kilo boxer, the European Silver Medalist and seven times Irish Champion Shauna O’Callaghan had very strong opposition when she faced eight times Irish Champion Labhaoise Clarke from Cardonagh in Co. Donegal.
This was without doubt the contest of the tournament as both of these boxers hold fierce reputations as being big hitters who as they say in boxing circles “ Take no Prisoners”. From the opening bell both boxers went at it with Shauna delivering her ramrod straight jab, then following up with an attack to the body winging in powerful left and right hooks to Clarke’s ribs forcing the Donegal girl to take deep breaths trying to regain her composure as Shauna piled on the pressure.
This contest was held over three by three minute rounds and both girls felt the pain of each extra minute of each round as they fought at a very exhausting pace. At the end of a very tough contest the Clann Naofa boxer was declared the winner by a five to nil shut out thus booking her place along with her colleague Evelyn Igharo to represent her Country at the European Boxing Championships.
On the same weekend the Leinster Boy 2 Boxing Championship was held in Newbridge, Co.Kildare. Clann Naofa boxer Tiernan Cassidy won the Leinster Boy 2 fifty kilo Championship by beating Jack Mc Donagh from Paulstown Boxing Club, Newbridge. After a shaky start Tiernan settled down to perform a masterclass of boxing running out a 5 nil winner. This win qualified Tiernan as a competitor in the Irish Championship to be held in two week’s time. A special word of thanks and congratulations must be given to the Clann Naofa Coaching Staff who work so tirelessly and give much of their time to prepare these young Champion Boxers to such an exceptional standard, especially to Hugh Mc Mahon, Richie Mooney, Gerard Ronan, Eamonn Fitzsimmons, James O’Neill, Daniel Fitzsimmons and Dominic Mulgrew. Thanks also goes to Stephen and Brandon Mulligan from Fighting Fit for their assistance.