Australian Eye – Jack Harkin’s Secret Weapon for Irish Title Glory

Jack Harkin got was getting advice all the way from Down Under as he stepped it up at the National Stadium on Sunday.

The Oakleaf fighter claimed his first ever Irish title after beating Aston Ruth in the 51kg decider.

The Letterkenny-Derry flyweight claims he had a lot of help getting through the fight from his coaches and from his brother, Joe, a former national level operator himself, who is currently in Oz.

Speaking to after the win, the colourful character fond of some colourful language explained how he was getting advice from his brother who was on the other side of the world via a vocal ringside conduit.

“He was a good opponent, but you get that, my brother, he’s over in Australia, he was talking me through the fight on the phone. It was a good aul brawl that’s all I can say about it.

“I believe in myself and my coaches at Oakleaf boxing, they had me feeling like I was winning. It’s mostly down to them. I’m a pawn in the game. I’m over the moon.”

Harkin defeated reigning champion Adam McKenna in the semi-final and claims the win over the European Youth competitor filled him with confidence but also ramped up the final pressure.

“I had a good fight with Adam McKenna [on Saturday] and I was top of the world then, I thought I could conquer all. But there was a lot of pressure because people said you’ve beaten [the #1 seed] so you have to do it. But it wasn’t too bad I felt like I could do it myself,” he adds before setting his sights on World Championship selection and a place on the team to travel to Spain in November.

“The World is my next goal. I’ll get up to the aul High Performance train away for that and get to these Worlds.”

Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 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: