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Busy Aoife O’Rourke eager to improve as gameplan clicks

Aoife O’Rourke was a late starter in boxing but the Roscommon middleweight is really starting to come into her own.

The Castlerea puncher claimed European U22 silver last year and performed well in the World Championships and has continued this good form into 2019 by reclaiming her Irish U22 and Elite titles.

While she received a walkover last year, O’Rourke faced opposition at the National Stadium on Saturday night in the former of Athlone’s Cheyanne O’Neill.

Against a talent opponent whose size ensured it was a tricky fight, O’Rourke methodically went about her business and claimed a unanimous decision win.

The Connacht fighter, one of five Western winners on the night, was especially happy with her tactical performance and told Irish-Boxing.com afterwards how “it was a bit different to my other fights, I felt more controlled.”

“We had a plan and I stuck to it,” she continued before detailing said plan.

“The plan was to keep it long and keep her at range – and use my power to keep her back. I had to believe in myself, that I could do it, I had to put my mind to it, and I did.”

“It was a big atmosphere walking out and I was nervous but I was fine when I got in there, I always am.”

O’Rourke looks set to be Ireland’s busiest boxer this year and the only one in line to feature at four major tournaments – the European Under-22 Championships in Vladikavkaz, the European Games in Minsk, the European Championships in a to-be-confirmed location, and the World Championships in Ulan-Ude.

With Tokyo next year and O’Rourke improving every time she steps into the ring, a busy 2019 is essential.

She outlined how “I’ve the European Under-22s next week and then the Elite competitions. I’m focused now on the European Under-22s to get that extra bit of experience, then we’ve a trip to Germany for the Chemistry Cup, I’ll just keep training and learning.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)


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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