A night of blood, sweat and (very few) tears – DCU Raising and Giving Society society hosted its annual and prestigious RAG Rumble event in The Venue on Wednesday, November 25th.
The fight night saw 16 sets of fighters square up in the ring in aid of RAG’s social projects. All of the money raised goes straight to projects like Operation Paint Ballymun, Go Gaga for GAA, RAG rhythms and Ballymunch; all empowering disadvantaged children and families in Ballymun.
From the start of the night until long after presenters Gary Gillick and Alison Ring announced the winner of the main event, the atmosphere was electric. In front of a packed venue, each of the 32 fighters put on a spectacular display of boxing after only eight weeks of training.
Following a delay due to a health issue with one of the male fighters, the evening got underway with three female fights in a row.
In a highly competitive fight, Lauren Heffernan had the edge over Zoe Whitmore with her impactful left jabs. Meabh Connolly was clinical in her win over Sinéad McCool while Sadhbh Condon’s speed and effective punches saw her past Amelie Smitka despite a notable height difference.
The first split decision from the judges came in a highly intense fight between Karl McGovern and Niall Behan. Behan, in the red corner, was named the winner after taking the final round.
Another tough match to call saw two rugby players, Niamh Griffin and Mairéad Ní Chochláin come face to face for bragging rights. Ní Chochláin came out on top in a match full of powerful body shots and impressive footwork and speed.
The last fight before the interval was a particularly technical one between Education Officer James Donoghue and Lukas “Statistics” Stasaitis. Donoghue’s forceful punches were the difference at the end of the four and a half minute thriller.
After an impressive exhibition match from DCU Boxing club who trained the fighters in preparation for the event and a performance by the DCU Dolls, the boxing commenced with the most physical fight of the night between Cathal Keane Breslin and Killian Wegner.
The referee was forced to call for the bell early as Wegner’s imposing power shots drew blood to Breslin, resulting in a unanimous victory.
Eimear Rooney controlled her match to beat Catherine Batstone while Niamh Whelan and Sonya Beatty’s fight was quite even and exhibited clever boxing, but Whelan narrowly edged her way to triumph.
Jordan Logue’s quickness in the ring and the failure of many of Conor Hawkins’ punches to land effectively decided the eleventh fight.
Niall Connolly was victorious over Jordan Kavanagh by a split decision in an extremely intense and highly competitive fight. Great sportsmanship was displayed between the pair as they left the ring together despite the result.
RAG Chairperson Caoimhe Ní Mhaolagáin saw off Emily Hawkins, saying her win was “the cherry on top of an unbelievable event”.
DCU boxer and coach Michael Faney stepped in to fight Phil Corrigan after a problem with Thomas Walsh before the event kicked off. Corrigan fought admirably and just lost out to a split decision from the judges.
Unquestionably, the most entertaining fight of the evening saw Peter Wright square up to MMA fighter Solomon Simon. Both fighters displayed a similar style- quickness, ducking and diving. Simon won by a split decision in the end, with Gary Gillick describing it as an “exceptional fight”.
The last fight of the night saw Elton Babela cooly edge past Niall Murphy, in a physical encounter in which both fighters lost their balance due to the power of the shots.
“We’re just delighted that everyone was proud to be a part of the event and that everyone in the audience enjoyed it. Endless thanks to everyone involved,” said RAG Events Manager Síne Nig Eochaidh to The College View. “We’re already looking forward to next year’s event.”
Image Credit: Chaitanya Brady