February 24 isn’t entirely a distinguished day for favourites at National Elite finals at Dublin’s National Stadium.
On the only other occasion that the Elite finals were hosted at the home of Irish boxing on February 24, 1945 there were a few upsets.
Seventy years ago tomorrow, eight finals were decided at the home of Irish boxing, six years after the National Stadium, the first purpose-built boxing arena in the world at the time, was officially opened.
Irish boxing legends Maxie McCullough and Gearoid O’Colmain were beaten in the 1945 deciders.
O’Colmain claimed European Elite gold in 1947 at the first European Championships after WW2 at the Stadium which also hosted the last European Championships before WW2 in 1939.
Five of the finalists at the 1945 deciders – Gearoid O’Colmain, Hugh O’Hagan, William Lenihan, Maxie McCullough and Mick McKeon – represented Ireland at the 1948 Olympics in London.
O’Hagan, Lenihan and McCullough reached the quarter-finals at the 14th Olympiad, and McKeon, who lost in the semi-finals, had to withdraw from the box-off for bronze because of injury.
Helsinki 1952 marked the first occasion that losing Olympic semi-finalists were both awarded bronze.
Meanwhile, 16 finals will be decided at the Liffey Crane National Elite Championships 2018 tomorrow night.
National Senior (Elite) National Stadium Dublin
February 24, 1945
50,8kg: Jack Foley beat John Power Pts
53,5kg: Jimmy Murray beat William Lenihan Pts
57,2kg: Willie Gifford beat Derek Brassil Pts
61,2kg: Gerry Smythe beat Maxie McCullagh Pts
66,7kg: Jackie King beat Tom Hyde Pts
72,6kg: Michael McKeon beat Christy Forde Pts
79,4kg: Hugh O’Hagan beat Gearoid O’Colmain Pts
+79,4kg: Pat Swaine beat Sean McIntyre TKO3