Walcot boxer Patrick McDonagh kept his medal dreams alive at the World Youth Championships in Sofia last night with a decisive points victory against the Iranian champion, writes Dave Veysey.
The 17-year-old faced Mahdi Rouhizadeh in the 64kgs category and from the outset the Walcot southpaw attacked behind a tight guard, using his right jab and straight left combinations to good effect.
His ringcraft and foot movement was excellent, and the Iranian found himself often punching thin air.
After a one-sided opening round McDonagh was ahead on all three judges’s scorecards.
The middle session again saw McDonagh landing with the better scoring shots.
However the Iranian grew in confidence to score with a few shots of his own, but the round still belonged to McDonagh.
Knowing he was two rounds down, Rouhizadeh came out with all guns blazing during the final three minutes, and enjoyed his best spell of the fight.
McDonagh still enjoyed some success, and although he lost the last round he won the contest on all three judges scorecards for a unanimous points’ victory.
Afterwards McDonagh said: “I am so pleased to have beaten a tough kid.
“I started well and this was the key to my victory for me this evening.
“I had to wait all day to box which wasn’t ideal, but I got the win and I’m through to the next round which is all that matters. I am really enjoying this tournament.”
His dad Paddy added: “I’ve just spoken to the GB Head coach on the phone and he told me that Patrick boxed really well.
“I am a very proud father this evening.”
Walcot chief coach Harry Scott summed up the feeling back at Walcot Boxing Club, saying: “We are all very proud of Patrick.
“We expected that he would do well, but maybe not as well as he has done.
“Everyone at Walcot hopes he can continue the good work.”
Patrick has 36 hours to rest before facing the Italian champion Vincenzo Arecchia on Sunday.