McDonagh accepts defeat but upset with referee
By Jonny Stapleton
JJ McDonagh took his Prizefighter defeat to Eamonn O’Kane on the chin, but wasn’t too accepting of the referee’s behaviour toward him in the tournament decider.
The Mulingar man was docked a point for a low blow and was continually warned for misdemeanours in close, when at times it appeared as if the eventual winner was charging in with his head.
McDonagh protested his innocence, but was keen not to take anything away from the eventual winner.
“Fair play to Eamonn, he won and he probably even deserved to win, but all I know is that I didn’t hit him with a low blow, but the referee kept warning me the whole time and he never warned Eamonn. I didn’t throw a low blow, and if I did do it I did by complete accident. I never grabbed a hold of his head and dragged him down; his head was tucked in under me so what was I to do – lift him up or something? I’m not blaming Eamonn – he probably would have beaten me anyway – but I don’t think the referee gave me a chance,” a gracious McDonagh said.
The Irish super middleweight champion was frustrated after the reverse, but wasn’t too upset having made the final and increased his boxing stock and his bank balance significantly.
“I feel disappointed, but I feel good at the same time – I know I gave it a good go.
“I have the height of respect for Eamonn O’Kane and all the boxers involved; there were no easy fights in there for anybody,” McDonagh added before revealing he hand issues before the tournament gloved off.
“Both my hands were troubling me even before the tournament started and maybe I shouldn’t have even been in the competition, but the was money there so I went through with it, but I’m certainly not using that as an excuse – Eamonn O’Kane beat me fair and square and I wish him all the best for the future.
“There’s another fight out there for us … I’d love to get him over maybe eight rounds.”