Dean Clancy overcomes severe semi-final sickness to continue Olympic dream

Dean Clancy has massive plans for 2018 and the Sligo flyweight was not going to let something like an immobilising case of the flu stop him.

The Ballinacarrow boxer won the National U18 Open Championships at the weekend, defeating last year’s runner-up Owen McDonagh in the final.

Frankly, it’s quite astounding that Clancy made it as far as Friday’s final. One week previous the rangey puncher had found himself ill and on the verge of being withdrawn from his semi-final versus John Cowman.

Clancy explained to how “my main fight was probably last week. I had a very bad flu. I was told by my coach that I’d be pulled out.”

“I was in the back until two fights beforehand, sleeping, just trying to get rest. I didn’t even warm up either, I loosened out as I walked to the ring.”

Clancy would take a unanimous decision win against the Waterford fighter, and notes how “I got the job done, I did better than I thought I would.”

In Friday’s final, a mostly recovered Clancy outfought McDonagh in an action-packed scrap, with the Yeats County fighter looking to have some real power behind his snapping straight shots.

A European Junior silver medalist last year, Clancy is new at Youth level but is settling in well against older opponents and certainly does not look out of place.

“I’ve stepped up from Junior level, it’s grand,” mused Clancy.

“I feel the same as usual. I’d say I do [have a punch], I’m stronger than last year too.”

“My chest was a bit at me today, but it was way better than last week I felt good, I felt I established my jab very quick.”

While most of the winners on Friday were looking forward to the European Championships in Italy this coming April, Clancy sees this as a step on the road to his big goal – the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires.

“I want to go to the Youth Olympics in September,” the Sligo teen confidently stated.

To be part of the tiny field for the tournament, Clancy must win gold at the Europeans in in Roseto.

“It’s a big year, a very big year,” he adds.


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: