PATRICK McDonagh put together the two best consecutive performances of his career to win the GB Three Nations Youth title in Edinburgh last weekend, writes Dave Veysey.
After beating tough Scottish Champion Jordan Beveridge on a split points decision in the semi final, the Walcot southpaw followed up with a unanimous points victory over Welsh champion Maerdud Thomas in the final.
The 17-year-old had the odds of success stacked against him in the light welterweight section of this prestigious event, which pitches the best youth boxers at 10 weights from England, Scotland and Wales against each other over two days of competition.
Firstly, he was suffering from a heavy cold and felt below par for the two days, then he found out that both of his opponents were more than a year older than him. Finally at the draw his name was picked out of the hat to face Beveridge in the semi - which meant that Welsh champion Thomas could put his feet up and wait for the final the following day.
However, the former England schoolboy put these obstacles behind him to win the most important crown of his multi-titled career.
In the final Thomas was very tall and boxed behind a tight guard, but Patrick counter-punched the Welshman to score repeatedly with hard straight lefts and right hooks.
He won all three rounds for a well-deserved unanimous points’ victory.
Earlier, in his semi-final, McDonagh had endured a tough bout with Scottish champion Beveridge before winning on a split points’ decision. This was an impressive display over the two days and has earned the Walcot boxer a place in the GB team for the World Youth Championships in Bulgaria in April.
He said after his final: “I am tired but very happy to have won the title.
“Both my opponents were big and tough, but I dug deep and got the job done. I am really pleased to have made the GB team for the first time.
“I would like to thank all the Walcot coaches for their help throughout my career, and also my dad Paddy for driving me all over the country to boxing events.”
Walcot chief coach Harry Scott was understandably delighted at the news, saying: “This title is a fantastic achievement for Patrick and for our Walcot club.
“We have coached Patrick for the past 11 years and all our hard work has borne fruit. He is a well-mannered and dedicated boxer who is a pleasure to train.
“We now need to look at his training needs prior to the Youth World Championships.”
England Coach Mick Gannon praised McDonagh’s performance, saying: “Patrick did exactly what he needed to do and followed instructions perfectly.
“Age-wise he was the baby of the team but he did really well.
“He beat a strong Scottish Champion in his semi and then comfortably beat the very tall Welsh lad in the final. “He has earned a place in the GB team for the World Championships next month which is quite an achievement.
“Well done to Patrick and his club, Walcot.”