It wouldn’t be surprising to hear Rebecca Kavanagh will be still pinching herself weeks out from her maiden Irish title win.
The regular bridesmaid finally got her chance to walk down the Irish champion aisle at the National Stadium on Sunday after beating Natalia Fasciszweska in the 57kg decider – and was in a state of excitement-induced shock post the win.
The underage prospect, who had fallen at the final Irish title hurdle on a number of occasions throughout the age groups, was soaring after finally making the winners circle.
“It doesn’t feel real,” she beamed when speaking to Irish-boxing.com post the win. “I’ve been in finals for years and I just never got it. Today was my day and I’m just delighted. It doesn’t feel real!”
Reflecting on what she did differently to get over the line this time around, the Dublin feather revealed she got out of her own head and was stubborn when it came to the game plan.
“I used to let nerves take over, I’d start thinking negative, so now I’m just like ‘I’m going in and I’m doing me and that’s all I can do’. And it worked,” she continued.
“Natalia has beaten me before, I used to just rush in and get picked off, so today me and my Da said let’s wait for her to come. We knew it would be a cagey fight but I had to stick to my game plan and wait for her and it worked. That’s all I had to do wait for her and not play her game.”
The Mulhuddart fighter couldn’t contain her delight and it became clear her joy had roots beyond just winning the title. Climbing the Irish title mountain injects serious self-belief into Kavanagh, something it appears she was craving.
“I needed to win that. You spar Irish and European champions and you just don’t feel you are good enough but now I’m up there with them I have an Irish title so we are all the same it’s such a confidence boost.”
The excitement levels could increase even further for the Dubliner who would enter dreamland and beyond if she is invited to train with the High Performance and chosen to represent Ireland at the World Youth Championships set for Spain and November.
“It would be amazing it’s a dream for me since I’m small, to get onto the High Performance and make the World Championships what more could you want? It’s such a big dream of mine if that happens it’s life-changing. I hope so.”