The Champ: Irish U-22 and Senior heavyweight champion Kevin Sheehy, pictured with his coach Ken Moore this week, following Kevin's National title win
LIMERICK fighters were to the fore last weekend at the national U-22 and U-18 boxing championships in Dublin.
A total of four national titles were brought home on the night as Kevin Sheehy (91kg), Nell Fox (81kg) and brothers Patrick (69kg) and Edward Donovan (69kg U-18) were all crowned champions of Ireland.
Kevin Sheehy, pictured, defeated James Clarke of Kilnamanagh in Dublin. The fight was the fourth time the two had met and Sheehy was delighted to level the score last weekend with a hard fought, all be it unanimous, decision.
Speaking after the fight, Sheehy's coach Ken Moore was full of praise for the Limerick star, who added the U-22 national title to the senior title he won in December of 2017. At just 19 years of age, Sheehy is one to watch for the future.
“All four of Kevin's fights with Clarke have been national finals and the last two have been won by the Dubliner. So we were very anxious on this one. He was fantastic in the fight. Really, really, good” said the proud corner man.
So, with two national titles under his belt, what next for Sheehy?
“Our immediate goal would be that he would enter the ‘Elite’ championships. That would be in with the big boys. That would be more for experience than anything at this point. However, because of his senior win and his U-22 title from last weekend, I would be very hopeful that he would be selected to represent Ireland at the European U-22 championships in Romania which are to be held in March” added the St Francis Boxing club man.
The senior title that Sheehy won, at just 19, is open to boxers from the ages of 18-40, so the fact that he won that title and added the U-22 title too, means that boxing politics should not stand in the way of his Irish selection. Ken Moore, who shares Sheehy's corner with his brother Jim and Valerie Hamilton, admits that everyone in Irish boxing has been so impressed with Sheehy, that he does not foresee any selection issues, as only one fighter from each weight will be picked.
“Politics shouldn't be an issue. People have been very impressed with him. He is one of the better fighters in that bracket. We are very happy with where he is” added Moore.
A large Limerick crowd was in attendance last weekend at the National Arena and Sheehy was supported on the night by his family and girlfriend. The fighter was said to have been ‘relieved’ with the win and is now focussed on the next fight, which could be as soon as February 9 in the Elite level. There is also another round of Elite level fights in November, which are, in everything other than name, trials for Olympic selection.
As mentioned, four Limerick fighters came away from Dublin with national titles last weekend.
Sheehy was joined in the winners circle by Patrick Donovan, his brother Edward and Nell Fox.
The Donovan brothers, from the Our Lady of Lourdes club in Limerick are two up and coming fighters which are as good as we have seen in the Mid West in recent times.
Patrick's win was his 11th national title, while younger brother Edward claimed his sixth. Nell, Rathkeale, won the title with a walk over.
With such a number of Irish titles coming to the City, it will surely not be long before Limerick can have another Olympic boxing star to cheer on, following on from Andy Lee, who of course, later went on to be champion of the World.
Limerick Results from last weekend in Dublin
Under 22 - 91kg Kevin Sheehy (St Francis) beat James Clarke (Kilnamanagh) 5-0
81+kg Nell Fox (Rathkeale) W/O
69kg Patrick Donovan (O.L.O.L.) beat Michael Avetisian (Glasnevin) 5-0
Under 18 - 69kg Edward Donovan (OLOL) beat Christian Preston (Glasnevin) 5-0