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“I’ve waited a long time” – Carly McNaul targeting EU medal following big break

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There’s a new face on the Irish women’s team for the upcoming EU Championships next month in Italy.

After claiming her first Elite Senior title back in February, Belfast flyweight Carly McNaul is now down in Dublin at the new High Performance Unit at the Institute of Sport in Abbotstown.

As her Elite title was claimed via walkover, McNaul went somewhat under the radar at the Championships, however the 28 year old has come on “big time” since, moving up to international level and benefiting from top class training.

The Ormeau Road woman has been boxing a long time, and 2017 has seen things finally click into place. McNaul told that “I’ve been around for 13 years, but I just hadn’t got the right break. Now I’m here.”

“I’m loving it, loving the experience and I’m looking forward to what’s to come.”

“I’ve came on so much. I had a lot of bad habits, but down here they’ve stopped happening and I’m getting better and better. Zaur [Antia] and Dimo [Dmytruk] are helping me, it’s good training.”

The past few months has seen McNaul get a taste of Elite international boxing, and the Antrim fighter has proven she belongs.

McNaul detailed how “I was in Romania [for the Nicolae Linca Memorial] and got beat [by Ukrainian Hanna Ohata] on a split-decision, then the next day I had a test match with the European bronze medalist who was actually two weights above me. It was great to get that experience.”

“Romania was really my first international experience, I had the [Dublin] round robin, and I’ve beaten the girl from Italy [Roberta Mostarda].”

“I’m looking forward now to going to the EUs and hopefully coming back with a medal.”

McNaul had been targeting the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia and the European Championships, however the EU Championships have been suddenly brought back to the calendar following four years away.

It’s perfect timing for McNaul following years on the fringes, and the Ulsterwoman is ready to show her skills at the top level.

“You do get nerves,” she noted. “You don’t get nerves it’s not right.”

“Nerves come just before the fight, when you’re sitting watching the rest, then you get in the ring and it’s ‘my’ ring.”

“This will be my first major. I’m feeling ready, I’ve waited a long time to get where I am. I’m looking forward to it.”

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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: