“They’re always taller!” but Daina Moorehouse is stronger ahead of World Championships charge

She may be one of our littlest boxers but Daina Moorehouse is set to become one of Ireland’s biggest stars.

Paddy Barnes has labelled the Bray light flyweight as his favourite amateur boxer in Ireland and the Enniskerry BC talent continued a sensational unbeaten run on Saturday night at the National Stadium.

The double European gold medallist picked up her sixth national title at the weekend, defeating Smithfield Ciara Walsh to claim the 48kg Under-18 title in Dublin.

A competitive fight, the straight final gave Moorehouse a good run-out ahead of the World Youth Championships in Budapest next month where she will go in as one of the favourites.

“It was tough, she was a very strong girl, very good. It was a tough fight and definitely [one of my hardest this year],” Moorehouse told Irish-Boxing.com.

“It’s amazing, it’s a great feeling.”

Still only 16 years of age, Moorehouse will be a Youth boxer again next year.

Moorehouse and Ireland's other medalists fromt the 2018 European Youths
Moorehouse and Ireland’s other medalists fromt the 2018 European Youths

Not only is she younger than most, she is smaller than all in the lightest of the weight classes.

“They’re always taller,” she laughs but Moorehouse is doing serious work to bridge the physical gap and it shows, with the southpaw looking a lot stronger and more powerful than previously.

Now, in addition to her daily run at 6:00am, the Wicklow wonderkid is putting in plenty of hours at the gym.

Coach Paul O’Toole explains how “her asset is her speed, she’s a good girl, but we’re doing a lot of strength and conditioning at the moment and she’s beginning to fill out into 48kg.”

“I like the sparring and boxing better,” admits Moorehouse before noting that “I have to do the strength and conditioning!”

“Strength and conditioning in the morning and then nights in the boxing club.”

With the World Championships coming up, Moorehouse has been getting the training and opportunities many fighters can only dream of.

A trip to the boxing hotbed of Cuba for some warm-weather training stands out – a camp which came courtesy of her win at the prestigious Golden Girl multi-nations.

O’Toole described how “she was training three times a day in Cuba and the heat over there was unreal compared to the heat here and it will get her ready for Budapest.”

Moorehouse adds that “It was great, it was very hot, so warm, and trying to train in the heat was very tough.”

“They [the World Championships] are in three weeks, camp starts Tuesday in the High Performance.”

While she is unbeaten since 2016, the reigning European champion, and stronger and better than ever, Moorehouse is taking nothing for granted ahead of the tournament in Hungary.

She outlined how “I’ll be confident going in but I still get nervous.”

“I don’t want to underestimate anyone, I just go in and do what I do and that’s it.”


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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