IN PICKING up his second Irish boxing title at the weekend, young Padhraic O’Donnell emulated the feats of his father Paddy some 24 years ago.
The 15-year-old Omagh Boxing Academy starlet was victorious in the 44kg division at the National Stadium in Dublin, the exact same age and weight division as his dad achived glory in 1992.
However, Paddy, who went on to win seven national boxing titles, believes Padhraic is much better than he was at the same age.
Having convincingly claimed the Ulster title earlier this month, Padhraic travelled to Dublin at the weekend brimming with confidence, undefeated since winning his Irish Senior Cadet title at 39kg last year.
On Friday night he faced Conor Lenaghan from Antrim in the semi-final controlling the fight from start to finish. His opponent also received a standing eight count in the final round.
It was an early start on Saturday for a short work-out to make sure to get back to the 44kg limit at the 8am weigh-in ahead of his final test later that afternoon against Sebh Kinderlee from Cork.
From the first bell his opponent burst out of his corner trying to pressure Padriac who used his exemplary movement, speed and skills to get out of danger. From 30 seconds in O’Donnell controlled the fight once again to the end and won unanimously on the judges scorecards with anther 3-0 victory.
Impressively the Sacred Heart College GCSE student never dropped a round from Mid Ulsters, through the Ulsters and at the Irish finals in Dublin.
This was an unbelievable rise for a young boxer who only started to take the sport seriously just over two years ago.
In fact, the southpaw only won two of his first 13 fights, illustrating his dedication, and hard work put in under the guidance of his coaches Willie Mitchell, Charlie McDonagh, Paul McElhatton and his dad.
Padhraic said, “I don’t really have one style of fighting, I try to adapt to what is needed in each fight. Leading up to this I was training about five nights a week and I am delighted all the hard work has paid off. I receive so much support from all the coaches at Omagh Boxing Academy and all my team-mates at the club. We all support each other and it is great to see everyone doing so well. I have to thank them all for the support.”
Padhraic and the Omagh Boxing Academy coaches also thanked Two Castles ABC in Newtownstewart and Emyvale Boxing Club for the ‘first-class sparring’ in recent weeks to help the young boxers prepare for these finals.
FULL STORY IN THIS WEEK’S ULSTER HERALD