A hot prospect out of the underage ranks, Caoimhin Agyarko Hynes was tipped by those in the know ahead of the 2015 National Elite Senior Championships but saw himself eliminated in the middleweight semi-finals by Stephen Broadhurst.
Boiled down to welterweight, the Belfast fighter was then eliminated again at the semi-final stage by Martin Stokes in the 2016 edition.
Back at middleweight and in the best shape of his career, Agyarko Hynes again came a cropper in the 2017 semi-finals against Broadhurst.
A failed attempt to make the Northern Ireland team for the Commonwealth Games then followed and it certainly seemed that, while he was undoubtedly talented, the explosive Holy Trinity fighter just wasn’t meant for the amateur format. Talks with promoters took place over the Christmas, while 21-year-old Agyarko Hynes is also keen on entering the World Series of Boxing to season himself
So, when the entry list for this year’s National Elite Senior Championships came out, Agyarko Hynes was a surprise entry at 81kg (light heavyweight).
Despite little preparation, he is now preparing for his first ever Senior final following a semi-final split-decision win over last year’s runner-up Tony Browne on Saturday night.
“I had one week’s notice for this,” Agyarko Hynes told Irish-Boxing.com following his win at the weekend.
“My coach wanted me to enter, so I entered, and that’s why I’m not at my fight weight of 75kg.”
“I was out for ten weeks over Christmas with a hand injury. I was in Amsterdam last week going mental.”
His fight with Browne was a close and scrappy one, a 3-2 split, and the verdict deeply upset the Dubliner and his camp.
Agyarko Hynes has suffered his fair share of Last Four heartbreak and noted how “I’ve been beaten in three Irish Senior semi-finals, close decisions, some of them right decisions, others I should have won, I had the ability to beat the guys.”
“I knew I won, as soon as they said ‘split-decision’ I thought ‘it has to be me’. I thought I won the fight handy enough.”
“Take nothing away from Tony, he’s very, very good.”
Perhaps a victim of pressure and expectation before, Agyarko Hynes entered these championships out of nowhere and is enjoying the experience
“I’m not a natural 81kg, that was my first fight at 81kg,” he outlined.
“You do have to box different, change your tactics. I’m strong at the weight, regardless of who I’m fighting I’m a lot stronger than them.”
“Now I have the advantage of my speed because I’m from a lighter weight, it can work in my favour.”
On Saturday Agyarko Hynes will face young Offaly talent Brian Kennedy, an Irish international at underage level, Intermediate champ in 2016 and a recent runner-up last month at U22 level (a title he won last year).
It’s an unfamiliar foe for the Belfast boxer of Ghanaian descent, but Agyarko Hynes is confident nonetheless.
Looking ahead, he explained how “I’ve never fought him [Kennedy] before, he’s won a couple of Irish titles. I saw about 20 seconds of his fight, it’ll be a good fight.”
“Hopefully I get the job done next week. Every fight’s hard and you have to go into every fight with the same mentality – that it’s going to be tough and you need your best performance.”
“I know what I’m capable of, and I think I’ll get the job done next week.”