The 2017 Irish Athletic Third-level Boxing Association Championships will draw to a close Saturday March 11 with 19 finals scheduled at the home of Irish boxing, The National Stadium, starting at 11 a.m.
The first bout is in the Junior Novice cruiserweight class (86Kg) as Niall McCarthy (UCC) faces Finbarr Maguire (Cork IT). McCarthy, who claimed two All-Ireland hurling medals with Cork and an All-Star award during a storied inter-county career, has in recent times taken up boxing with St Colman’s BC in Cork, and looks to be taking well to the real “toughest trade”. Will CIT’s Maguire deny him another All-Ireland Title in this all-Cork battle?
Cork IT are also represented by 2017 Irish Novice Championships finalist Ian Kelleher in the Senior Novice lightweight final, where he boxes Eoin Meaney (UL).
There are two all Dublin contests at Junior Novice 64Kg and 67Kg where Aaron McGuigan (ITT Dublin) faces Conor Harte (DCU), and André Mendes (ITT Dublin) faces Jack Matthews (Monkstown/IADT).
In the lone female final at Senior 60Kg, Rivers McCormack, coming off a big confidence boosting win against Irish Senior (formerly intermediate) champion Saidhbh Greene in the semi-final, faces another multi-Irish title winner in Louise Donohue (Geesala/IT Sligo).
Gary McKenna, whom represented the IATBA’s Irish student team at last October’s World University Boxing Championships in Thailand, will meet Jason Kirwan (UL) to determine the champion in the Senior 60Kg division.
Gary McKenna with his WUC opponent Temirian Osmonov (Kyrgyzstan)
The Senior 64Kg final will be an all Ulster battle as Niall McAlinden (Holy Family GG/Ulster University) goes head to head with Matthew Murnion (St Bronagh’s/Queens).
The 81Kg final is another provincial derby as former Irish Intermediate champion from Galway, Ryan Dervan (NUIG), meets Mayo’s James Daly (GMIT).
In the final bout of the championships, World University Championships bronze medallist Kenneth Okungbowa (Athlone/AIT) will square-off with Cian O’Shaughnessy (Rathkeale/NUIG) at Senior super heavyweight.
Saturday’s finals promise to be the best days programme in the 8 year history of the IATBA, so everyone should try to get down to the Stadium and support all the student boxers who have put huge effort in all year to win an Irish Intervarsity title. Admission is just €5.