Golden day for DCU boxers

Ceire Smith and Claire Grace with their medals at the recent elite finals

DCU Boxing Club took home two senior elite medals recently as Claire Grace and Ceire Smith won gold in their respective divisions.

Grace saw off Joanna Barkley of Holy Family Boxing Club in the semi-final before winning all four rounds against Laoise Trainer in the final to claim 69kg gold. Smith had a considerably easier path to her medal, with her domination of the 51kg category meaning she was uncontested for the gold medal.

The success didn’t stop there for one of DCU’s fastest growing clubs, however, as eight DCU boxers qualified for the finals of the All-Ireland Third Level Championships after strong performances in qualifiers recently.

The first day of qualifying saw seven boxers take to the ring in the DCU colours, with the only loss for the Glasnevin university coming the way of Ciarán Ferry. A consolation, though, is the fact that the fighter who beat him in a tight contest, Faolan Rahill, is also a DCU boxer and sparring partner of Ferry’s.

Another successful day on the Saturday resulted in four wins and one loss for DCU, leaving the side in a very strong position to bring home a number of medals over the finals weekend.

Tough preparation for the tournament stood to DCU in the end after the team had been involved in a number of bouts the week before.

While John Quigley was narrowly beaten in his bout, Danny McGowan put on a scintillating performance in Trinity College, knocking out his opponent in the second round.

More preparation came in the form of a fight night at The Clarion Hotel, Liffey Valley, which saw Ferry don the gloves for the first time in almost four years. This didn’t faze the DCU man as he fought hard and was only beaten on a split decision.

A highlight of the night was Charlie Norton stepping into the ring for the first time and dazzling the crowd with an impressive performance that saw him win by result of a third round knockout.

In other DCU Boxing news, the club will host an intervarsity tournament on March 31st in memory of Olympic bronze medallist Darren Sutherland, who tragically died in 2009. The Darren Sutherland Memorial Cup will see his parents, family, old coaches and mentors in attendance in DCU as well as some special guests. The event will see DCU take on a college select team made up of fighters from different colleges around the country.

Known as ‘The Dazzler’, Sutherland went down in Irish boxing folklore when he took home a bronze medal at middleweight in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Ruaidhrí Croke

Image Credit: Terry Keegan

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