Boxing: Dubliner books spot at World Championships

by Aaron Dunne
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Whitechurch Boxing Club’s Gabrielle Mongan had another stellar day in the National Stadium, winning the recent National Under-18 title and clinching not only her fifth Irish title but also a place at the 2022 World Youth Championships in Andalucía, Spain in November.

The two-time European Championships representative will be hoping to add to her European Bronze medal that she secured in 2019 at the European Schoolgirl Championships in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Having sustained a hand fracture during the recent European Youth Championships in Bulgaria, Mongan had somewhat of a disjointed run-up to the nationals.

However, her experience and ringcraft shone through in abundance in a unanimous points victory in the final against fellow Dub and former National Champion Emma Harding of Nutgrove BC.

From the first bell, a large, excitable crowd in attendance at the hallowed South Circular Road venue were aware that this bout was going to play out like high-stakes chess instead of a brawl.

Both boxers traded jabs, looking to establish distance, with Mongan scoring cleanly off well-timed right hands to give her the edge at closing bell.

To open the second stanza, Nutgrove’s Harding responded well to her coaches and managed to gain a share of the exchanges in what was a tighter round to score.

Mongan then did what champions of her calibre do best and put together a strong last round, punctuated with thudding right hands and lead left hooks which solidified in the judges minds the 5/0 decision.

“It was my first time back in the ring since April and although it wasn’t my best performance, I got the result which I’m so happy about”, Mongan said as she received her medal and certificate as Champion of Ireland from newly minted IABA President Gerry O’Mahoney.

She continued, “I want to say thanks to all my coaches for all the time and effort they put in with me and everyone and thanks to everyone who came in to support me and to everyone who wished me luck”.

Whitechurch BC Secretary Phil Hollowed added: “We are all so proud of this young woman’s achievements. It is simply remarkable that she can achieve a World Championship berth from a club that is still, after 13 years and 17 National and International titles, based in a school hall without a functioning boxing ring or showers”.

Hollowed went on to praise the hard-work and dedication of the coaches and volunteers that have given so much to both the boxing club and the Whitechurch area in general.

Asked how this victory will be received back in Whitechurch, Hollowed said: “We hope that Gabrielle’s incredible achievement can not only spur on the next generation of

Whitechurch boxers but prove to the councillors and county planners once and for all that we are more than deserving of a permanent home.

“I know that the whole of Whitechurch and Ballyboden will be cheering on Gabrielle when she jets off to Spain for the Worlds”

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