Walcot boxer Patrick McDonagh’s GB debut was one he’ll never forget, as he defeated his highly ranked opponent in the opening round of the AIBA Youth Championships in Sofia, writes Dave Veysey.
The seventeen-year-old faced Brazilian Champion and World Junior bronze medallist Cassio Santos Oliveira in a light welterweight clash over 3x3 minute rounds.
Belying his inexperience at world level, the Walcot southpaw made a confident start to the most important contest of his career, scoring with fast right jabs and heavy straight lefts to take the opening round.
The Brazilian raised his game during the middle session, and edged a close round.
But the final three minutes saw McDonagh gain the upper hand, boxing well behind his southpaw jab and giving the Brazilian few scoring opportunities.
After three tough rounds all three ringside judges scored the contest in favour of the Walcot boxer, who was returned the unanimous points’ winner.
He immediately rang his father Paddy, who said: “Patrick was delighted to have beaten such a highly ranked opponent on his GB debut.
“There were 54 contests during the day and Pat’s fight was near the end of them, so he had to be patient.
“There is still a long way to go in this tournament – there are 64 boxers in the light welterweight division.
“But this win will give Patrick a huge confidence boost before his next bout.”
This tournament is for the best 17 year olds and 18 year olds in the World, with the top five in each weight division qualifying for the Youth Olympics in August.
McDonagh is due to fight again this evening in his second round contest is set to meet the Iranian Mahdi Rouhizadeh who beat Panitan Kitkiad of Thailand.