BOXING: National Under-18 Championship Finals

by Jonny Stapleton
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Ava Henry solidified her status as one of Irish boxing’s best prospects by winning one of the most eagerly anticipated National Under-18 Championship finals at the National Stadium last Saturday.

The Dublin Dockland’s teenager was pitted against recent World Junior Championship gold medal winner Siofra Lawless in a huge final and won the battle of underage international stars in style.

The two-time European medal gold medalist took the light welterweight crown via second-round stoppage. Henry forced the referee to give her fellow extremely talented prospect a standing eight midway through the second stanza, followed it up with another strong attack, prompting the referee to stop proceedings.

It’s a huge win for a fighter, who was unhappy to win the same title via walkover last year and should tee her up for a return to Youth International action.

Tiffany Spencer was a big winner in one of the lightest weights, 48kg, the Tallaght fighter became Jobstown BC’s first-ever female champion at the level when she defeated Nicole Ahern in her second fight in two days. Spencer’s clubmate Adam Olaniyan won a title at the other end of the scales, returning from injury to claim super heavyweight honuors thanks to an impressive stoppage.

Avona also had two winners on finals day Kai Griffen at 54kg and his clubmate and sparring partner Martin McDonagh at 57kg.

Whitechurch’s Kyla Doyle was another Dublin and stoppage won the 66kg title before the first round was over.

Jamie Collins of Driminagh added to his National title collection by winning an entertaining 51kg final with Daniel Philips, while featherweight  Aliyah Flood of Monkstown did the same when winning a first National title at U18 level by outscoring Breanna Johnston.  

Ava Henry celebrates her victory in Saturday’s National U-18 Championship final. The Dublin Docklands star cemented her place as one of the sport’s biggest rising stars

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