IT was not to be for Walcot boxer Mikey McDonagh, who failed in his bid for a national schoolboy title at the English Institute for Sport in Sheffield last Saturday, writes Dave Veysey.

The 13-year-old encountered James Mongan from the Priory Park Club in Birmingham in an exciting clash at Class B, under 40kgs, in front of a packed house at England Boxing’s Headquarters.

From the outset both these talented boxers attacked and defended in equal measure.

The Midlander enjoyed a height and reach advantage, which often meant McDonagh had to take a punch to land a punch.

However, he scored with some good work at close range, and there was nothing in it after the opener.

The middle session proved to be more of the same, with Mongan scoring with straight lefts and rights, and McDonagh countering with left jabs and straight rights of his own.

Whilst the Birmingham youngster’s punches appeared heavier, McDonagh’s higher work-rate meant he was landing more leather.

Both these determined teenagers raised their game to give their all during a tight final round.

At the final bell the crowd afforded both boxers a tremendous ovation.

The Walcot camp were hopeful that McDonagh’s greater work-rate had edged a close fight, but it was the Midlander who was awarded the decision by a unanimous points’ decision.

McDonagh said: “I am gutted at the result – I thought I had done enough to win.

“But I will go back to the gym and train even harder for next season.”

Walcot chief coach Harry Scott added: “We are all disappointed at the result, we thought Mikey nicked it.

“He did his best on the day, but it was not enough to claim the prize.

“I hope he learns from his experiences this season, and keeps improving.

“But to be the second best boxer in England for your age and weight is not a bad achievement.”