By Jonny Stapleton
Irelands most decorated amateur boxer, Jim OSullivan, is hoping Olympic Silver Medallist Kenny Egan equals his record of ten National Titles in this years National Elite Men’s Senior Championships.
The Neilstown southpaw became registered his ninth successive title last year and if he goes into to double figures this time round he will equal Jim OSullivans record of wining ten titles.
Rather than wishing to retain his unique record OSullivan, who collected his titles between 1980 and 1990, hopes Egan goes on to equal his achievement in March and surpasses it in 2011.
I hope Kenny goes and equals the record. He is a good ambassador for boxing and he is a fantastic boxer. OSullivan explained.
There is no part of me that doesnt want him to do it. Who better than to equal your record than Kenny Egan. Its also fitting he, like me, is a light heavyweight. I hope he goes on and does one better and breaks the record next year.
Reaching ten titles is something special. There are lots of boxers, who have fought in the Olympics but not many won ten national titles. I would say Kennys silver medal has helped bring on boxing a lot in Ireland and it must mean a lot to him.
For me, however, reaching ten titles was the pinnacle. It was something I targeted when I didnt make it to Soul in 1988. I was delighted to achieve the record and I still have kids coming up to me today because of it, OSullivan added.
OSullivan, who won the last of his record haul in one of his easier bouts, doesnt believe Egan will have it all his own way over the next three weeks. The reigning record holder will be present at this years finals and thinks Tommy McCarthy will pose a challenge for the brilliant Egan.
Kenny would be favourite but he wont be taking anything for granted. Young Tommy McCarthy will believe he has learned a lot in the last year and he will be hoping to cause an upset. I still think Kenny will do it though. There is always going to pressure going into the championships. For me I suffered the same nerves going into all my fights, be it against the best in the world or in Ireland. When I won my tenth title I trained hard for it so the pressure was the same as going into that fight as any. I presume that will be the same for Kenny.