Defending welterweight champion Kieran Molloy retained his title after a pulsating all southpaw battle with Limerick’s Paddy Donovan at the National Stadium tonight.
Molloy took home his successive 69kg belt on a unanimous decision, but Donovan asked massive questions of the titlist in all three rounds.
The Treaty City lefty, one of Ireland’s most stylish fighters, found the target with some beautiful shots in all three rounds, but Molloy, working overtime, drilled down to deliver his own punches in an absorbing encounter and the fight of the 2019 Championships.
European U/22 champion Amy Broadhurst claimed her first Elite title and two-time Commonwealth finalist Michaela Walsh retained her belt versus Dearbhla Duffy.
Broadhurst, who had won 16 Irish underage belts up to tonight, beat Kildare’s Moira McElligot on a unanimous decision and Walsh recorded a similar margin of victory over Dearbhla Duffy in a repeat of the 2018 final which Walsh also won.
Gabriel Dossen also had his hand raised in victory. The Galway middleweight, who beat last year’s finalists Michael Nevin and Brett McGinty en route to the final outpointed 2017 champion Emmett Brennan in the 75kg decider.
“We’re absolutely thrilled with the win. Elite finals are always going to be difficult but he came through tonight’s final very well against a very experienced opponent, said Olympic BC coach Mike Mongan who was working Dossen’s corner with his dad John Mongan and John Myers.
Wicklow’s Regan Buckley claimed his first belt at this level in the light-fly class and Antrim’s Chloe Fleck forced Donna Barr into two standing counts in the third round en route to a 3-1 verdict in a repeat of the recent Ulster final which Fleck won on a 3-2 split.
Buckley produced a high-tempo performance to earn a unanimous decision over Dublin’s Sean Mari. Both young men expressed their frustration that light-fly has been dumped by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) as an Olympic weight for Tokyo 2020 before tonight’s clash.
“I’m absolutely over the moon. The win means more to me and my father than anyone will ever know. It’s been a dream of mine all my life and to say that I am the Elite champion is a dream come true for me, said Buckley.
Meantime, Galway’s baby-faced flyweight Adam Hession secured the 52kg belt for the Monivea BC after a fiery encounter with Evan Metcalfe in a top tier three-rounder.
Four contests ended on 3-2 splits, Leona Houlihan, Carly McNaul and James McGivern and Christina Desmond getting the nod from a majority of the five judges.
McGivern beat George Bates, the 2018 60kg champion, in a very close 63kg decider, while Cork’s southpaw Desmond dethroned defending welter champion Grainne Walsh.
The women’s welter division has a double significance on the road to Tokyo 2020 as the limit is one of the new Olympics weights for women.
Tommy Hyde was aiming to make it a Leeside double but was on the wrong end of a 4-1 split to underdog Thomas O’Toole on a big night for Galway boxing.
Dean Gardiner won his fourth Irish Elite crown in the super heavy class after beating Limerick’s Martin Keenan. Keenan started well but took a count versus the Clonmel BC man in the final final of the 2019 Championships.
Gabriel Dossen and Christina Desmond claimed the Best Male and Female Boxer Awards after tonight’s finals.
Meanwhile, Kellie Harrington beat Serbia’s Jelena Jelic on tonight’s card in an international bout.
The Dublin lightweight was awarded a unanimous verdict in her first outing since winning World Elite gold in New Delhi last November.
Harrington thanked the IABA for arranging the bout and Jelic for taking the contest after her first victory of 2019.
“Probably a pizza or a burger on the way home,” said Harrington when asked what will be her next move.
LIFFEY CRANE NATIONAL MEN’S AND WOMEN’S SENIOR ELITE CHAMPIONSHIPS 2019
NATIONAL STADIUM DUBLIN, SATURDAY 23rd FEBRUARY
48kg Chloe Fleck (Canal) beat Donna Barr (Ilies Golden Gloves) 3-1
49kg Regan Buckley (St Teresas) beat Sean Mari (Monkstown Dublin) 5-0
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Castlerea) beat Cheyanne O’Neill (Athlone) 5-0
57kg Michaela Walsh (Monkstown Antrim) beat Dearbhla Duffy (Crumlin) 5-0
57kg Patryk Adamus (Drimnagh) beat Christian Cekiso (Portlaoise) 3-2
60kg David Oliver Joyce (Ballymun) beat Dominic Bradley (Errigal) 5-0
64kg Amy Broadhurst (Dealgan) beat Moira McElligot (St Michaels Athy) 5-0
52kg Adam Hession (Monivea) beat Evan Metcalf (Hyland BA) 4-1
75kg Gabriel Dossen (Olympic Galway) beat Emmett Brennan (Glasnevin) 5-0
80kg Leona Houlihan (Crumlin) beat Lisa Browne (Aglish) 3-2
91kg Kenneth Okungbowa (Athlone) beat Anthony Browne (St Michaels Dublin) RSCI3
51kg Carly McNaul (Holy Family Golden Gloves) beat Niamh Early (Ryston) 3-2
63kg James McGivern (St Georges) beat George Bates (St Marys Dublin) 3-2
69kg Christina Desmond (Fr Horgans) beat Grainne Walsh (Spartacus) 3-2
81kg Thomas O’Toole (Celtic Eagles) beat Tommy Hyde (Mayfield) 4-1
69kg Kieran Molloy (Ougterard) beat Patrick Donovan (Our Lady of Lourdes) 5-0
60kg Kellie Harrington (St Mary’s) beat Jelena Jelic (Serbia) 5-0 (International bout)
91+kg Dean Gardiner (Clonmel) beat Martin Keenan (Rathkeale) 5-0
54kg Emma Flannery (Baldoyle) W/O
60kg Kellie Harrington (St Mary’s) W/O
80+kg Nell Fox (Rathkeale) W/O
Technical Delegate: Stephen Connolly
Supervisor: Philip Rooney
Chief Whip: Paddy Osborne
Medical Record Books: Anna Moore & Maura Campbell
Ringside Announcer: Peter O’Donnell
Computer Operator: Paul McMahon
Glove Stewards: Philip Roche, & Bernie Gannon
Referees & Judges: From Ulster, Munster, Leinster, Connacht, Dublin and Antrim
48kg Chloe Fleck (Canal) beat Courtney Daly (Crumlin) 5-0
48kg Donna Barr (Illies GG) W/O
63kg James McGivern (St Georges) beat Kenneth Doyle (Monkstown) 4-1
63kg George Bates (St Marys) beat Keith Flavin (Paulstown) 5-0
69kg Kieran Molloy (Oughterard) beat Luke Maguire (Esker) 4-1
69kg Patrick Donovan (OLOL) beat Aidan Walsh (Monkstown Antrim) 3-2
75kg Gabriel Dossen (Olympic) beat Brett McGinty (Oakleaf) 5-0
75kg Emmett Brennan (Glasnevin) beat Fearghus Quinn (Camlough) 4-1
81kg Thomas O’Toole (Celtic Eagles) beat David Bicevis (St Saviours OBA) 3-0
81kg Tommy Hyde (Mayfield) beat Paul McCullagh (St John Bosco Bel) 3-2
91kg Anthony Browne (St Michaels Dub) beat Kiril Afanasev (Smithfield) 3-1
91kg Kenneth Okungbowa (Athlone) beat Karol Dlugosz (Scorpion) 5-0
91+kg Dean Gardiner (Clonmel) Thomas Carthy (Crumlin) 5-0
91+kg Martin Keenan (Rathkeale) beat Gydis Linskyas (Celtic Eagles) 5-0
Q/finals & S/Finals
48kg Chloe Fleck (Canal) beat Carol Coughlan (Monkstown D) 4-0
48kg Donna Barr (Illies GG) beat Ciara Walsh (Smithfield) 5-0
49kg Sean Mari (Monkstown D) beat Rory Baird (Ederney) 5-0
52kg Adam Hession (Monivea) beat Ricky Nesbitt (Holy Family Drog) 4-0
57kg Dearbhla Duffy (Crumlin) beat Mary Geraghty (St Anthony’s Dub) 5-0
57kg Christian Cekiso (Portlaoise) beat Myles Casey (St Francis) 4-1
57kg Patryk Adamus (Drimnagh) beat Tommy Casey (St Francis) 4-1
60kg David Oliver Joyce (Ballymun) beat Shane Flavin (Portlaoise) 4-1
64kg Amy Broadhurst (Dealgan) beat Shauna O’Callaghan (Clann Naofa) 5-0
69kg Christina Desmond (Fr Horgans) beat Tina Donnelly (Dublin Docklands) RSC3
69kg Grainne Walsh (Sparticus) beat Gillian Duffy (St Mary’s Dublin) 5-0
63kg James McGivern (St Georges) beat Wayne Kelly (Portlaoise) 5-0
63kg Kenneth Doyle (Monkstown Dub) beat Gerard Matthews (St Pauls Antrim) 4-1
63kg Keith Flavin (Paulstown) beat Matthew McCole (Dungloe) 3-2
63kg George Bates (St Marys, Dublin) beat Michael Avetisian (Swords) RSCI3
69kg Kieran Molloy (Oughterard) beat Aaron Daly (Castlebar) 5-0
69kg Luke Maguire (Esker) beat Michael McGrane (Crumlin) 5-0
69kg Patrick Donovan (O.L.O.L.) beat Conor Ivors (St Francis) 5-0
69kg Aidan Walsh (Monkstown Antrim) beat Dean Walsh (St Ibars/Josephs) 4-1
75kg Gabriel Dossen (Olympic) beat Michael Nevin (Portlaoise) 3-2
75kg Brett McGinty (Oakleaf) beat Kelyn Cassidy (Saviours Crystal) 3-2
75kg Fearghus Quinn (Camlough) beat Gerard French (Emerald Antrim) 5-0
75kg Emmett Brennan (Glasnevin) beat Tony McGlynn (Crumlin) 5-0
91kg Anthony Browne (St Michaels Dub) beat Liam Greene (South Meath) 4-1
91kg Kenneth Okungbowa (Athlone) beat Danny O’Brien (Santry/Defence Forces) 5-0
91kg Karol Dlugosz (Scorpion) beat Geoffrey Kavanagh (St Michaels) 4-1
81kg David Bicevis (St Saviours OBA) beat Robbie Burke (Glasnevin) 3-2
91+kg Dean Gardiner (Clonmel) beat Tommy Sheahan (St Michaels Athy) RSC1
91+kg Thomas Carthy (Crumlin) beat Dean Scullion (Loughshore) 5-0
91+kg Gydis Linskyas (Celtic Eagles) beat Antoine Griffin (Celtic Eagles) 3-2
91+kg Martin Keenan (Rathkeale) beat Stephen McMonagle (Holy Trinity) 5-0
57kg Christian Cekiso (Portlaoise) beat Conor Kerr (Monkstown Antrim) 5-0
57kg Tommy Casey (St Francis) beat Adam Courtney (St Mary’s Dublin) 4-0
63kg James McGivern (St Georges) beat Senan Kelly (Crumlin) 5-0
63kg Gerard Matthews (St Pauls Antrim) beat Stephen Lockhart (Baldoyle) 5-0
63kg Kenneth Doyle (Monkstown Dub) beat Craig Kavanagh (Crumlin) 4-1
63kg Matthew McCole (Dungloe) beat Dylan Duffy (Pegasus) 5-0
63kg Michael Avetisian (Swords) beat Terry McEntee (Old School/DCU) 4-1
69kg Aaron Daly (Castlebar) beat Fergal Redmond (Arklow) 5-0
69kg Aidan Walsh (Monkstown Antrim) beat Eugene McKeever (Holy Family Drog) 3-2
91+kg Tommy Sheahan (St Michaels Athy) beat Denis Borskins (Sacred Heart Newry) 5-0
91+kg Stephen McMonagle (Holy Trinity) beat James Clarke (Crumlin) 4-1