Dylan Eagleson, pictured, can make an impression at the European Junior Championships in Romania later this month, according to his club coach Ralph McKay.
Eagleson, who boxes out of the St Paul’s BC in Antrim, has been named in a 25-strong male and female squad for the Europeans which begin in Galati on May 23.
McKay believes that the 16-year-old is a real prospect for Paris 2024 – 100 years after Irish boxing made its Olympic debut at Paris 1924.
“It’s there for him, the Olympics in 2024 or whatever he wants to do, McKay told today’s Irish News.
“Since he’s come to us he’s changed his style, he’s more like a European boxer now – long reach, long distance, in and out fast. His footwork’s improved, he’s learnt to use his footwork as he’s punching in different positions.
“You can see the improvement with him. He wouldn’t have thrown many body punches before, now even in the cadets, he was scoring well to the body. He’s good at swaying left and right, timing his shots from different positions, his head’s moving all the time.
Eagleson claimed an Open Senior Cadet title in March and Galati can’t come soon enough.
“I can’t wait,” said the Irish champion who wants to replicate his St Paul’s BC team-mate Brendan Irvine, who he has been sparring with, and become an Olympian.
“I always knew St Paul’s was a big club in Belfast, there’s a lot of good people there, I knew Ralph was a top-class coach and that I’d always get good spars.
“Ralph’s been putting a lot of work into me and that’s improved me a lot. My head movement’s better, my shots are getting a lot cleaner, and I’m going there feeling confident.”
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