Cork’s Eamer Coughlan has become a more complete fighter in the past six months.
The Riverstown southpaw built a reputation as a relentless pressure fighter and would win the U18 bantamweight title last year against European Youth bronze medalist Terry McEntee in what was the Irish-Boxing.com Fight of the Year.
This win saw Coughlan, a World Junior silver medalist, secure a place at the World Youth Championships in Russia – but he would be defeated in his first fight by the eventual silver medalist, Samatali Toltayev of Kazakhstan.
Coughlan would go back to the drawing board and, following a growth spurt up to lightweight, he returned a new and improved fighter, claiming bronze at the prestigious Pavlyukov Youth Memorial and then another Irish U18 title at the weekend.
At the National Stadium on Friday night a more considered Coughlan claimed a unanimous decision win over Kenneth Doyle of Monkstown to pick up his third Irish title.
Rather than going to war for nine minutes straight, Coughlan would implement the jab a lot more this time round as well as a sharp left-hand counter.
The Rebel 17 year old told Irish-Boxing.com afterwards that “I’m feeling stronger at lightweight. I felt way stronger this year.”
“I stopped two lads [in previous rounds] and then I boxed a great guy there in Kenneth Doyle, plenty of respect there.”
Coughlan is able now to look at his defeat to Toltayev last year as something of a turning point.
The Leesider explained how “I was devastated at the time obviously, I couldn’t accept it. But after a couple of days I realised I lost to a Kazakh, a brilliant boxer, and I learnt from it, I had kept doing the same thing wrong.”
“It’s [the jab] something I’ve worked at at the club. Since I got back from Russia last year I’ve been working on long range, the jab. Before this tournament I never really used my jab ever, I use the jab now and it makes things a lot easier.”
Now on the ‘right side’ of the age group, Coughlan is aiming for gold at the European Championships in Turkey later this year.
The Munster youngster outlined: “hopefully the Europeans now in September if I get selected and hopefully I bring back another major medal and change the colour, I’ve got silver and bronze before.”
Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey speak to Jason Quigley on Episode 5 of The Irish Boxing Show: