It was a case of absolutely Gabi-lous as Gabriel Dossen won European Championship gold in Armenia today.
The Galway fighter showed a brilliant mix of fight and flair to overcome the challenge of England’s Lewis Richardson to step onto the top of the podium and prove himself the best amateur middleweight in Europe.
Dossen’s skills and superior jab won him the first round across the board but England’s #1 closed the gap in the second meaning the Olympic Galaway fighter had to show some grit and fighting spirit in the last.
He did just that to finish a brilliant tournament for him personally on the ultimate high, joining the likes of Kurt Walker, John Joe Nevin, Paul Griffin, Katie Taylor and Joe Ward on the list of Irish European medal winners.
Despite the fact, that he is just 22, the International breakout achieved at this tournament comes a little later than expected for Dossen, and considering his noted talent, which he has proved across five fights in one of the hardest boxing tournaments to succeed at, some may question why he wasn’t given the chance pre-Tokyo.
The southpaw, who claimed back-to-back World Youth bronze and European Youth bronze in 2016 and 2017, won an Irish senior title as far back as 2019 but this tournament was his first-ever major senior international championship in an Irish vest. He certainly delivered at the first time asking having secured a gold medal doing it the hard way by winning five fights.
‘Go to work straight away’ was the order from the corner at the first bell rang. It was a direction Dossen followed as he got his jab going from the off and made it the first minute’s most effective punch. As expected when you’re faced with one of the best in Europe, the Galway fighter didn’t have things all his own way, as Richardson looked to put combinations together but the Irish star was able to make him miss for the most part and produced the cleaner work. As a result, he won the stanza across the board.
Richardson pressed with his feet in the second but again the Connaught fighter’s jab was again key and was a shot he started to build off. The backhand came into play more and more before lighting fast combinations had the English fighters head bobbling in more directions than a bobblehead toy on the dashboard of car travelling down a pothole-ridden road.
However, Richardson was able to impress enough in the final minute of the session to win the round on three of the judge’s scorecards, meaning the fate of the middleweight gold medal was down to the final three minutes of the tournament.
Dossen held his feet more in the final stanza and showed he is inside work-capable, landing some eye-catching combinations and big shots in the process. His opponent was up for the fight and let his hands go too leading to a tense few minutes before the result was confirmed.
Dossen was eventually confirmed the winner much to his delight and that of vocal team Ireland members in the crowd.
48kg Ricky Nesbitt, Holy Family, Drogheda
51kg Sean Mari, Monkstown BC, Dublin
54kg Dylan Eagleson, St. Paul’s, Belfast
57kg Adam Hession, Monivea BC, Galway
60kg JP Hale, Star ABC, Belfast.
63.5kg Brandon McCarthy, St. Michael’s, Athy.
67kg Eugene McKeever, Holy Family, Drogheda
71kg Luke Maguire, Esker BC, Dublin
75kg Gabriel Dossen, Olympic, Galway.
92kg Jack Marley, Monkstown BC, Dublin