'If he stays in top form he'll beat anybody': James McGivern eyes up Irish final spot

Since taking home bronze from last year's Commonwealth Games, James McGivern has moved up from 60kg to 63kg as a result of changes to the Olympic weights for Tokyo 2020. Picture by PA
Neil Loughran

Amateur boxing: Irish Elite Championships

AFTER delivering what was arguably the performance of the night at the National Stadium last Saturday, James McGivern bids to move into the light-welterweight final down in Dublin this evening.

The St George’s ace - who has moved up from 60kg to 63kg as a result of a change in Olympic weights - was at his brilliant best against Wayne Kelly, convincingly defeating the reigning national champion.

Standing between McGivern and a place in the final is Monkstown’s Kenneth Doyle, as he aims to add the Irish title to the Ulster crown already landed last month.

And coach Danny Boyd is delighted to see the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist hitting form at the right time.

“He was brilliant last Saturday - I would actually say it was the best I’ve ever seen him box, that’s how good he was.

“When James is on song, or when he’s up against it, that’s when you see the best of him. In the Ulster seniors he wasn’t in tune, he wasn’t fit, but this last couple of weeks he’s just turned it on. Everything’s clicked into gear.

“He’s in top form, and if stays in top form he’ll beat anybody.”

There is plenty of other Ulster interest on an impressive semi-final cast list tonight too.

Ulster middleweight king Fearghus Quinn meets 2017 Irish champion Emmett Brennan in the last four, while the other semi-final showdown has the potential to be one of the fights of the night.

It sees Oakleaf powerhouse Brett McGinty, who lost out to Quinn in last month’s Ulster decider, take on the highly-rated Gabriel Dossen.

Galway teenager Dossen pulled off the result of last weekend when he toppled reigning middleweight champion Michael Nevin and, although it is still early days in his senior career, looks a serious prospect.

At 81kg, St John Bosco banger Paul McCullagh takes on Mayfield mover Tommy Hyde in what could be an interesting clash of styles, while Scorpion’s Karol Dlugosz faces the experienced Kenneth Okungbowa for a spot in the 91kg final.

Irish Elite Championship semi-finals

National Stadium, Dublin (tonight, 6pm start)

48kg: C Daly (Crumlin) v C Fleck (Canal)/C Coughlan (Monkstown, Dublin)

48kg: C Walsh (Smithfield) v D Barr (Illies GG)/E Feeney (Virginia)

63kg: J McGivern (St George’s) v Kenneth Doyle (Monkstown, Dublin)

63kg: K Flavin (Paulstown) v G Bates (St Mary’s)

69kg: K Molloy (Oughterard) v L Maguire (Esker)

69kg: P Donovan (OLOL) v A Walsh (Monkstown, Antrim)

75kg: G Dossen (Olympic) v B McGinty (Oakleaf)

75kg: F Quinn (Camlough) v E Brennan (Glasnevin)

81kg: T O’Toole (Celtic Eagles) v D Bicevis (St Saviour’s)

81kg: P McCullagh (St John Bosco) v T Hyde (Mayfield)

91kg: K Afanasev (Smithfield) v A Browne (St Michael’s, Dublin)

91kg: K Okungbowa (Athlone) v K Dlugosz (Scorpion)

91+kg: D Gardiner (Clonmel) v T Carthy (Crumlin)

91+kg: G Linskyas (Celtic Eagles) v M Keenan (Rathkeale)

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