2014 – Eliminated in the Intermediate semi-finals, unanimous decision.
2015 – Beaten in the Intermediate final, split decision.
2016 – Eliminated in the Intermediate quarter-finals, split decision.
2017 – Eliminated in the Intermediate semi-finals, split decision.
2018 – Eliminated in the Elite semi-finals, split decision.
Christian Cekiso has had many, many near misses over the years but he has defiantly said ‘stop’ in 2019.
The Portlaoise featherweight has reached the Elite Senior final and will do battle with Paddy Adamus on Saturday night at the National Stadium.
To get here, though, he had to navigate the semi-finals and former flyweight champ Myles Casey.
Beaten by the same opponent back in 2014, Cekiso wasn’t going to allow the same to happen here and would edge a close and scrappy fight – by a split-decision.
Afterwards Cekiso told Irish-Boxing.com that “I’ve been unlucky in a lot of the years and I said that, this year, there was no way that I was going to lose in the semi-finals again.”
“They’ve all been very, very close fights, fights that could have gone either way.”
It was a rugged contest and Cekiso admits that “it was tough, I knew Myles was going to come out fast, because that’s what he does, he bangs, he’s strong. I had to draw him in and, when he came in, I kind of picked him off.”
“It was very tough, very competitive – I expected a very tough fight, Myles is a very good opponent, he’s experienced, a lot more experienced than me.”
“I boxed him three years ago and, ever since, I’ve gotten more and more experience – I’m full-time now and I’m a lot better than I was.”
Now Cekiso stands just nine minutes away from Elite glory, with Drimnagh’s Adamus in his way.
What looks to be an evenly-matched contest, the Midlander is expecting a hard fight with the strong Dubliner.
Cekiso noted how “he’s after jumping down from 60kg, it’s going to be a good fight, it’s going to be tough fight.”
“He looks like a tough competitor himself and he’s after getting a few good wins over very good boxers over the last few years, U22 champion, Intermediate champion, you don’t achieve them for no reason.”
Portlaoise BC’s only finalist this year, Cekiso has the entire club behind him – including their most famous son, current IBF super bantamweight champion.
The 24-year-old intends to deliver having come so close, so often.
“This is my dream,” he said.
“I was here last year to see my two team mates Michel [Nevin] and Wayne [Kelly] win. I was very unlucky and I was thinking ‘I should be there’, it was killing me not being there.”
“It’s a great club, from Junior up to Elite level, we’re all helping each other. Cian Reddy, he’s only going into the U18s and he’s been my main sparring partner and he’s been as good as the Elites, I can’t thank him enough.”
“TJ, fair play to him, he came over to support me, he wished me good luck. That drove me, all the support, everyone that came over, I thank them so much.”
Photo Credit: Michael Hade – National Stadium Boxing Videos