Breakthrough of the Year – The Awards 2019

Every boxer hopes to end a year in a better position than which they started but some boxers have gone above and beyond over the past 12 months.

There have been plenty of major scalps, statements made, levels jumped, and points proven.

Below we pick out the SIX Irish fighters that have made the biggest breakthroughs in 2019.

Voting is limited to ONE VOTE per IP address.

Breakthrough of the Year

Luke Keeler
A man up for this award in 2018, Keeler continues to climb. This year it was a stunning defeat of Luis Arias to move to world level. Could we see him here again next year?

Tommy McCarthy
It was third time lucky for Big Tommy who, after losses to Matty Askin and Richard Riakporhe, went to Italy to defeat Fabio Turchi and claim the WBC International title.

Alfredo Meli
The Belfast underlined his talent at the Féile when he pulled off a legitimate upset, defeating German Olympian Araik Marutjan. Titles next, please.

John Joe Nevin
The Mullingar Shuffler finally began to start proving his potential in the pros, dominating Freddy Fonseca to claim his first career title – the WBA International super featherweight rankings belt.

Kenny Okungbowa
The Athlone big man has been a frequent runner-up over the past decade but 2019 was his year, claiming two Elite titles at heavyweight and super heavyweight.

Aoife O’Rourke
The Roscommon middleweight claimed her first major Elite medal, going all the way at the European Championships to win a glorious gold, marking herself out as a real Tokyo hope.

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You can vote in the earlier polls below:

The Micky Ward Round of the Year

The Sideline Films Club of the Year

Comeback of the Year

The Patrick Hyland Sr Trainer of the Year

The Kevin Sheehy Young Boxer of the Year

The Wayne McCullough Performance of the Year

The Alejandro Gonzalez Jr Opponent of the Year

The Sean Mannion Gallant Defeat of the Year

Pro Debut of the Year


Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: