'My name's still there at 57, trust me': Eagleson harbouring Olympic hope

Dylan Eagleson showcased some of his skills on the way to claiming his first Irish elite title against Jorge Rogla Castanno on Saturday. Picture by Hugh Russell
Neil Loughran

A FIRST Irish elite title in a whirlwind 12 months is nothing to be sniffed at – but Dylan Eagleson still has major plans to force himself into the Olympic reckoning ahead of Paris 2024.

Despite being dogged with the flu in recent weeks, the talented teenager got up from his sick bed to claim the 54kg crown with a unanimous victory over Jorge Rogla Castanno, adding to a Commonwealth Games gold and European silver already collected at that weight in his first year operating at elite level.

But, with 54kg not among the seven men’s Olympic weights, Eagleson insists he still remains in the frame at featherweight.

“It was a tough fight to be honest,” said the St Paul’s ace, who had two-time Olympian Brendan Irvine in his corner.

“It wasn’t my best performance, I hadn’t boxed since the Commonwealth Games so there was a bit of ring rust… there’s lots to work on. It’s a good start to the year, but I’ve a big year ahead of me.

“My name’s still there at 57, trust me. I was sick, we didn’t make the choice to move up, but my name’s still there no matter what. I’ll go in, spar as well as I can and show the coaches what I’m made of.

“I’m better than that anyway.”

Tyrone’s Jude Gallagher, ruled out of these championships with a hand injury sustained in November’s Tammer tournament, will have been an interested spectator as Paul Loonam got the better of Sean Purcell to claim the 57kg title on Saturday night.

Loonam, who shocked defending champion Adam Hession in the semi-final on Friday night, carried on where he left with a sharp display to claim a unanimous decision win.