Omagh teenager Tiernan Bradley announced his arrival onto the adult boxing stage in style by winning the Irish Intermediate 60kg title at the weekend.
In his first over-18 tournament after a glittering career boxing at youth level, Bradley excelled against much older, experienced opponents to be crowned national champion at the National Stadium in Dublin on Saturday.
“ I’m over the moon with the win,” said the young Sacred Heart Boxing Club fighter. “I was very confident going into the competition as I’ve been sparring against seniors for a while now.”
The tournament took place over the last three consecutive weekends, and Bradley began his march to the title with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Toome fighter Enda Kennedy. The following week, Bradley was came up against the formidable Leven Antia, nephew of the Irish Boxing Team’s high performance coach Zaur Antia. Antia, who fights out of the famous Bray club, home of Katie Taylor, was no match for the Omagh lad however, who again posted a 3-0 victory.
After the Antia win, Bradley really began to build momentum coming into the last weekend. His semi-final opponent, Hughie Joyce of the St Michael’s Athy club, stood in his way, but once again Bradley produced his third 3-0 victory with a display of clever boxing, with his left hook in particular proving very effective. “I knew Hughie Joyce would be tough. He’s 28, and has been fighting at this level for years.”
Bradley, the youngest contender in the competition at 18, had boxed his way to the final against Colin O’Donovan of the Togher club in Cork. “Coming into the final, I had heard whispers he was very strong, and that he’s been winning titles for a while now.”