Duffy’s elite success

by Karl Graham
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MULHUDDART Boxing Academy added another trophy to their ever growing cabinet as Dervla Duffy defeated Moira McElligott at the 2017 National Elite Championships at the National Stadium last weekend, to become the 57kg champion.
Duffy made the move to the Blanchardstown club at the end of 2015 and has improved hugely under the tutelage of owner and coach Gerard McDaid with this victory marking a new pinnacle.
McElligott went into the bout as the reigning champion but Duffy, a former jockey, gave her opponent little chance of retaining her title, and took the win with a 4-1 on the judge’s cards.
“As the rounds go on, normally boxers would fatigue,” said McDaid.
“Dervla just got stronger so it suited us. Her third round was amazing. She exploded and left absolutely nothing in the ring.”
The club have being growing from strength to strength since they opened their doors in September of 2009 with the help of sponsors Knife-Edge and Duffy’s decision to join the club when many other gyms would have been interested in her speaks volumes of their progress.
“She made the decision to come to us in December 2015 in preparation for the World Championships and Europeans that were taking place in 2016. As a coach, I identified the weight she was boxing at – 54kg – wasn’t suiting her and it was always going to be a struggle to achieve anything at that weight,” said McDaid.
“Basically, the aim was to get those competitions out of the way and move up to 57kg to aim for bigger things at featherweight because it was more natural to her as a boxer.
“She is very well supported but I think she knew by coming to us she was going to get the training she needed.
“She is a naturally strong girl but things like flexibility would have been neglected so we identified that she needed to move to the three three-minute rounds, and volunteer Daniel Flynn, from DSP Damastown, trains her three days a week on her strength and conditioning, and I train her three days on her boxing. It was a team effort.”
Duffy’s win is only the latest success for the club with them also boasting four Leinster champions since the turn of the year.
Luke McDaid, Sean Cairney, Chloe Gabriel and Sophie O’Sullivan have all made a mark in the sport this year.
“As a coach, I set goals for the club every year and our club has been thriving since 2009. I have been working with these kids and it came to fruition in January.
“People who watch the boxing have been saying how well they are doing, how mature they are for their age in terms of performances and skill, so it is great for Mulhuddart Boxing Academy,” McDaid concluded.

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