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6 Sensational Semi-Finals this weekend at the Irish Elite Senior Championships

It’s final four stage this weekend as over 50 boxers fight for National Elite Championship final berths. 

The action is split over two days with Friday night and Saturday afternoon sessions showcasing a host of high-quality high-stakes top-end fights.

Things kicked off with a bang last week and the action is set to only get better as we close in on a huge finals night.

We have chosen six that are must-see tonight and tomorrow on the TG4 YouTube stream.

Friday 7:00pm
48kg – Chloe Fleck (Canal) V Shannon Sweeney (St Anne’s)
This year’s semi-finals kick start with a mouthwatering little women battle. The light flyweight meeting of Chloe Fleck versus Shannon Sweeney is one to watch and hard to call. Both have impressed since reaching the senior ranks with the ever-entertaining Fleck claiming claiming the 2019 Elite crown after Sweeney’s win in 2018. Mayo’s Sweeney defeated Fleck in in 2020 finals before being beaten by Daina Moorehouse in the decider and they renew hostilities again here.

Friday 8:30pm
57kg Jude Gallagher (Two Castles) V Adam Hession (Monivea)
Jude Gallagher and Adam Hession could be battling well beyond this Friday’s 57kg semi-final. The talented emerging duo look to be Olympic rivals and could swap Paris pole on more than one occasion between now and 2024. Tyrone’s Gallagher won the pair’s last meeting at this stage of the last National Elite instalment down at flyweight but plenty has happened since then. Both were in the frame to compete at the European U22s but it Monivea’s Hession who got the nod and was hugely impressive when medalling out in Italy. This is a battle of two highly thought of young fighters that could ignite and could stay lit for years to come.

Friday 9:30pm
67kg – Michael Avetisian (Mulhuddart) V Eugene McKeever (Holy Family Drogheda)
Avetisian put in one of the performances of his senior career last weekend as he claimed victory in a Dublin derby over Kenneth Doyle of Monkstown. The repeat of the 2020 63kg quarter-final, which he won via a split decision, was competitive and entertaining but not as tight, as livewire Avetisian scored unanimous points victory over his fellow Intermediate champ. Meanwhile, double Ulster Champion McKeever was too slick and strong for Barry O’Connor. The Armagh man dominated with class and real presence to claim a unanimous points win and the shifting of welterweight from 69kg to 67kg looks to suit him greatly. Tonight’s pairing pits two in-form fighters and, whoever emerges, will feel they have the momentum to go all the way.

Saturday 3:15pm
63.5kg – Jon McConnell (Holy Trinity) V Brandon McCarthy (St Michael’s Athy)

Saturday serves upan eagerly anticipated clash of two former underage standouts. Irish title machine McCarthy stepped up to the adult ranks to win the 2020 tournament (held in late 2019) and showed his developing power in stopping Jamie Long last weekend to mark himself out as the man to beat at light welterweight. However, there are high hopes for McConnell in Belfast. It will be the Holy Trinity kid’s maiden adult bout but the European Junior bronze medallist has been preparing for over a year for this fight.

Saturday 4:30pm
80kg – Tommy Hyde (St Michael’s Athy) V John Joe Nevin (Crumlin)
Tommy Hyde versus John Joe Nevin is a mouthwatering new – but not so new – era bout. It’s the meeting of two fighters who have established a reputation as Elite level fighters in recent years but are yet to claim a title. Nevin, who some less acquainted with amateur boxing will know from fighting Conor McGregor, was the 2020 runner-up at middleweight and steps up here. Cork’s Hyde was seen as a fighter with the potential to replace Joe Ward as Ireland’s #1 light heavyweight and has played a part in a very entertaining weight class over the last few years, finishing runner-up in 2019. Two strong and ‘pro styled’ boxers, this could be a war.

Saturday 5:30pm
+92kg – Thomas Maughan (Cavan) V Patrick Rogers (St John’s)
The tricky Maughan blew the tournament wide open last week when he defeated High Performance starlet Gytis Lisinskas and faces another huge puncher here in Rogers. The Derry giant has been around the block and can bang making this all-Ulster match-up an intriguing clash of styles in one of the most open of divisions.

September 24
S/Finals (7pm)
48kg Chloe Fleck (Canal) V Shannon Sweeney (St Annes)
48kg Ciara Walsh (Smithfield) V Carol Coughlan (Monkstown D\0
51kg Michael Stokes (St Michaels Athy) V Paddy McShane (Letterkenny)
54kg Niamh Faye (Ballyboughal) V Kirsten Cresham (Castlebar)
54kg Emma Flannery (Baldoyle) V Sara Hagighat-Jo (St Brigids Edenderry)
54kg Jake Rapple (Monkstown D) V Nathan Horrigan (Crumlin)
57kg Jude Gallagher ( Two Castles) V Adam Hession (Monivea)
57kg Sean Purcell (Saviours Crystal) V Jordan Smith (Holy Family Drogheda)
60kg John Paul Hale (Star) V Michael Stephens (Drimnagh)
60kg Dominic Bradley (Emerald A) V Teo Allen (Cookstown)
67kg Michael Avetisian (Mulhuddart) V Eugene McKeever (Holy Family Drogheda)

September 25th
S/Finals (3pm)
57kg Jennifer Lehan (DCU) V Zara Breslin (Tramore)
63.5kg Jon McConnell (Holy Trinity) V Brandon McCarthy (St Michaels Athy)
63.5kg Nathan Richmond (Scorpion) V Jack McGivern (St Georges)
66kg Renee Roache (DCU) V Keisha Attewell (Tobar Pheadair)
67kg Wayne Kelly (Ballynacargy) V Evan Fitzgerald (Esker)
71kg Emeka Onwuka (All Saints) V Luke Maguire (Esker)
71kg Kieran Molloy (Oughterard) V Jack Brady (Crumlin)
80kg Tommy Hyde (St Michaels Athy) V John Joe Nevin (Crumlin)
80kg Stewart Edwards (Crumlin) V Keelan Cassidy (Saviours Crystal)
86kg James Redmond (Ballybrack) V Faolain Rahill (DCU)
92kg Cathal Crowley (Spartan M) V Jack Marley (Monkstown D)
92+kg Patrick Rogers (St Johns U) V Thomas Maughan (Cavan
92+kg Martin Keenan (Rathkeale) V Samuel Ilesamni (St Mary’s)

Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: