The Thurles boxer has twice been defeated in close contests in the two under-18 championships, and admits that he toyed with the idea of going pro, but the Tipp teen put the head down, moved up in weight, and made it to the National Senior (Intermediate) welterweight final.
Crisis would however hit the morning of the decider, as Ivors was involved in car crash on the way to the weigh-in as the car he was travelling in alongside Thurles club man Danny Coppinger slid off an icy road and into a wall, leaving him with an injured foot and severe whiplash.
‘Geronimo’ was not to be denied however, and unbelievably took to the ring just hours later to face Thomas O’Toole of the Celtic Eagles club in Galway. After a scrappy, tight, contest in the National Stadium, Ivors emerged a split decision winner – a verdict that O’Toole and his team wholeheartedly disagreed with.
Ivors was overcome with joy following a year full of setbacks, almost leaping out of the ring to his large travelling support and was near to tears in the immediate aftermath.
Amidst a mob of fans, the Munster youngster spoke to Irish-Boxing.com and admitted that “words can’t describe how happy I am. I came back after two defeats in the Irish semi final and the Irish quarter final in the under-18s this year, and to become a Senior champion… words can’t describe it.”
Now a three-time national champion, Ivors thanked his club coaches for helping him rebuild, and keeping him in the amateur side of the sport despite some appealing offers to turn pro. The 18 year old described how “I always had the drive to keep going, but I had offers from Lee Selby and his coach Tony Borg to turn pro, and I really thought about it. But my coaches gave me good advice to stay on as an amateur for the next couple of years, build more reputation, and hopefully go to the next Olympics.”
On the bout itself, Ivors described how “it was a tough fight and a very awkward opponent, a southpaw like myself. It was fierce hard to get in on him with his range, but on the times when I did catch him, I caught him with good shots, and that caught the judge’s eye at the end of the day.”
“I feel a lot more comfortable. At 64kg I was losing too much weight and I was getting tired in the last round, at 69kg I’m a lot more comfortable.”