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Brandon McCarthy has some bad news for his Mammy following Irish title win

Brandon McCarthy faces the dreaded Leaving Certificate examinations this June, but before that the Kilkenny bantamweight will be aiming for top marks in another tough test.

Following his National U18 Open Championships win at the weekend, McCarthy is now in pole position to head to the European Youth Championships in Italy this April.

It would be a fifth continental championships for the St Michael’s Athy teenager, although there’s one person who is not too keen on him going.

“Mammy doesn’t want me to, and Daddy’s egging me on… I think Daddy wins that one,” joked McCarthy when speaking to Irish-Boxing.com following his win over John Paul Hale on Friday night.

“It will be a big challenge this year,” he admits. “I’ve the Leaving Cert as well now so it’s going to be a tough one to manage both.”

McCarthy, who turns 17 this week, had just emerged from a gruelling battle with his Belfast opponent, a bout in which his nose had been busted open.

“It happens to me a whole heap so I’m kind of used to it at this stage,” he nonchalantly began.

“It was a tough fight, a very tough fight. I thought it was a lot more than a 3-2 now, though, but I’ll take them any day of the week.”

“I’m delighted now with my performances over the tournament.”

One particular factor which may have given McCarthy the edge in the split decision was his continued left hooks to the body, which cracked in audibly and drew ‘ooohs’ from the crowd at the National Stadium.

“I’ve been practicing that in the gym and we’re perfecting it. It’s slowing people down and they’re backing off. I’ll keep working on it and I’ll be putting lads away,” the powerful puncher said.

Only just after moving into the Youth class, McCarthy is still adjusting to the changes that brings and described how “he [Hale] was a year older than me, that was alright – it’s more the three minutes [rounds] now, that’s affecting me more.”

“I’m kind of learning throughout the competition how to pace myself across the three minutes. From the first fight until now I’m a lot better.”

McCarthy will be aiming to be better again for the European Championships in Roseto and outlined how “it’s Italy in April and I’m hoping to [go]. The squad hasn’t been selected yet but I’m hoping to go.”

“It will be a good one to go to, my fifth one. I’ve done two Schoolboys and two Juniors.

“I was captain last time but I was unlucky to be beaten. It gives you more motivation to train harder.”

Kildare boxing is proudly supported by Liffey Crane Hire.


Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie