Caoimhín Hynes facing some weighty issues ahead of a massive year
THERE are some weighty issues facing Caoimhín Hynes as he sizes up where his future lies ahead of a potentially huge 2017 for the hard-hitting Holy Trinity ace.
The 19-year-old is already preparing for a crack at the Ulster and Irish Elite Championships early next year, though in what weight class he competes remains to be seen.
Hynes has campaigned at both welterweight and middleweight in recent years and admits he feels he has unfinished business at 69kg. However, as he continues to grow, getting down to that weight is proving more and more difficult. With experienced coach Mickey Hawkins keen for Hynes to stick with 75kg, the 2014 Ulster champion knows some difficult decisions lie ahead.
“I haven’t a clue,” he said when asked at what weight he will be fighting next year.
“I could possibly go 75 in the Ulsters and drop down to 69 for the Irish seniors, but I’ll see how things go. Mickey’s on to me every night to just move up to middleweight and stay there, be a strong middleweight and focus more on technique.
“When I’m fighting at welterweight it’s all weight loss, there’s no training for technique or anything, you’re just focusing on sweat sessions instead of technical sessions.
“I boxed at the Celtic Cup down in Dungarvan a few months ago and I really took a lot out of myself making welterweight. That was the first time in nearly a year I had made 69. I know I can make it okay, it’s just holding it - that’s the problem. After my first fight, I was four kilos over - that’s over half-a-stone to lose in less than 24 hours, then you have to go out and fight after that.
"Mark O’Hara’s been working with me at the club and realistically, my goal is to go to the Commonwealth Games in two years, and I’m not going to be welterweight then. I’m only 19 now, I’m going to grow in the next two years, so I’m just going to see how it goes and make a decision in the next few weeks.
“In my head, I want to go welterweight, I feel like I’ve something to prove at welterweight, but Mickey and everyone else think it’s time to move up.”
Both weight classes are relatively open as it remains to be seen whether there will be some high-profile departures ahead of the Irish Elites in February.
Welterweight Steven Donnelly, who boxed for Ireland at the Olympics, had indicated he hoped to turn pro, but remains part of the High Performance unit and could yet fancy a crack at landing a second Irish Elite title.
It is also unclear whether reigning Irish champion and London 2012 Olympian Adam Nolan will return to the ring, while middleweight has been blown wide open by the controversial departure of Michael O’Reilly.
The Portlaoise man is unlikely to box again as an amateur having been sent home from Rio in disgrace after he was found to have taken a banned substance.
That leaves Conor Wallace as the man to beat at 75kg, and the Newry southpaw is someone Hynes knows well: “Conor’s a friend of mine, we’ve sparred a load of times so that’s another good fight,” said Hynes, who was part of the Ulster team that brought home the Frank Gervin Cup from Florida earlier this month.
“Both weights are open because no-one knows if Steven Donnelly or Adam Nolan are going to be in them at 69kg, and then O’Reilly’s away at middleweight.
"There’s young talent coming up at both weights."
TWO-TIME Olympic medallist and top professional prospect Paddy Barnes visited Carryduff ABC last week for the second of the club's series of elite masterclasses.
Barnes spoke to boxers about his career to date and plans for the future, as well as giving tactical demonstrations. Carryduff coach Gareth McAuley said the masterclasses provided inspiration to up-and-coming boxers.
"In September, Jamie Conlan came up and now Paddy. Carryduff doesn't have a history of boxing, so it is great that the top boxers are willing to help us grow the sport here," McAuley said.
“In return, we took 20 young boxers to watch Jamie and Paddy in action last month."
MONKSTOWN light-flyweight Carol Coughlan finished top of the pile at last weekend’s national senior championships when she beat Canal’s Chloe Fleck in the decider at Dublin’s National Stadium.
There was disappointment for Carrickmacross’s Ciara Dowling, who lost out to Saidhbh Greene (St Briget’s), Pegasus lightweight Dylan Duffy fell to Olympic’s Frankie Cleary and Nicole Moorehouse (Clonard) just came up short against World junior champion and youth Olympic silver medallist Ciara Ginty (Geesala).
Holy Family, Dundalk light-welterweight Eugene McKeever got the better of Vinny Esler from the All Saints club in Ballymena, Two Castles light-heavy Ryan Donnelly dropped a split decision to Brian Kennedy (St Mary’s, Daingean).
In the final bout of the night, Emerald super-heavyweight Damien Sullivan lost out to Rathkeale’s Martin Keenan.
THE president of the Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) has hailed the performances of Team Ireland at the World Youth Championships in St Petersburg.
Talented Galway light-welter Gabriel Dossen and Portlaoise middleweight Michael Nevin both returned with bronze medals around their necks as Ireland’s nine-strong squad finished in joint 13th place with Germany in the medals table and 11th in the rankings table.
“The squad did really well at the World Youth Championships and I think they will play a huge part in the future of the IABA,” said Pat Ryan.
“It’s testament to the standard and strength of our youths that we had seven different athletes on this team than we had on the squad we sent to the European Youth Championships earlier this year.
“It reflects the strong position we are in at this level. We have to acknowledge the clubs and club coaches and their huge contribution to developing our youths and the roles they play through county, provincial and national level.
“Congratulations to our squad on their performances in St Petersburg and team manager Stephen Connolly and coaches Billy McClean and John Conlan and our staff.”