WALCOT boxer Patrick McDonagh created his own piece of amateur boxing history last Sunday when he won his national final in the inaugural English Youth Boxing Championships near Manchester, writes Dave Veysey.
These championships were formerly known as the Junior ABAs, but under the new AIBA rules governing international amateur boxing were renamed ‘Youths’ to fit in with other age-related boxing tournaments across the world.
They were also the first national finals in this country where 16 and 17 year olds had to compete over 3x3 minute rounds.
In the Class A, 64kgs division, the 17-year-old southpaw encountered Aaron Boyes from the Bridlington Boxing Club.
Boyes made a fast start and attacked from the opening bell, but McDonagh used nimble footwork to slip the oncoming punches and counter with right jabs and straight lefts.
The Walcot boxer landed with more lefts as the round progressed to comfortably take the opener.
During the middle session the former England Schoolboy International stepped up the pace to dominate the round with several heavy straight lefts and right hooks.
Boyes had no answer, and after a sustained onslaught the referee issued the northerner with a standing count.
This was another round in the bag for McDonagh who has hardly marked, whilst his opponent returned to his corner with a bloodied and badly damaged nose.
The final three minutes proved to be a quieter session, with the Bridlington boxer happy to protect his nose by keeping out of harm’s way, whilst the Walcot boxer coasted to victory with occasional jabs and straight lefts.
At the conclusion the ringside judges awarded McDonagh a unanimous 3-0 verdict.
Patrick said afterwards: “I am delighted to have won my second national title of the season.
“He was a strong boxer, but I took the fight to him and this tactic paid off.
“I would like to thank Harry Scott and all the Walcot coaches for their hard work with me in the gym this season.
“I must also thank my dad Paddy who drives me to events all over the country.”
McDonagh’s cornerman for the final was Lionel McCrea, and he added: “Patrick put on a mature and polished performance today. He listened to my instructions, and carried them out perfectly. “Through his skill and power he has overwhelmed a very good opponent.”
Chief Coach Harry Scott summed up the feeling at the Walcot club following another title triumph: “Everyone at Walcot is delighted that Patrick has become the first ever light-welter weight winner of the English Youth Championships.
“He has been at the gym since he was six-years-old and is a well-mannered and popular member of the club.
“He has worked hard to reach a high level of fitness, and this has meant he’s adapted well to the new three-minute rounds.
“He also has an element of ‘star quality’ about him and always shows his class on the big occasions.
“He can add this title to the Youth Ambition title he won in November which is quite an achievement.”
Patrick is now in the running for England selection at the forthcoming Youth Three Nations in Scotland.