Éireann’s Revival – Nugent nears Commonwealth Comeback

It could turn into one of Irish boxing’s greatest ever comeback stories.

Eireann Nugent could go from a retired too soon fighter and one that got away sob-story to Commonwealth Games medal winner in the space of a number of months.

Team NI’s 70kg representative only returned to the sport this year, ending an 11-year sabbatical when entering the Ulster Elites last year.

The 30-year-old granddaughter of famous Mac Man ‘Nugget’ Nugent and daughter of former Irish champion Ciaran Healy got back into the swing of things relatively quickly, won the provincial title and secured a place on the team to compete in Birmingham this week.

Now she can allow herself to dream of stepping onto the podium and claiming a prestigious medal.

“To medal in Birmingham would be a dream come true. I’m already so proud of being selected for the team after 11 years out,” she said.

“I’m improving every single day and I’m accepting all the challenges that are coming my way and every day is a learning day and I’m only going to get better and better.”

Although she is hoping for a medal, Nugent is already winning, delighted with selection and happy to be back in the gym feeling better about life.

“A big part of coming back was for my mental health, walking away from the sport I piled on a lot of weight and I started to get a bit down and self-conscious,” she said.

“My friend was also diagnosed with cancer and was fighting for her life. So in a way I’m just coming back and fighting for my life grabbing it with both hands and just chasing my dreams.”

To continue to chase that dream, Nugent had to move up the scales. 66kgs, the weight she won the Ulsters at, is no longer contested at the Commonwealths so she moved up to 70kg proving just how determined she is to make the most of her second chance.

“When I came back, I entered the Ulster Seniors and won the Ulster Elites at 66kg. That weight was dropped for the Commonwealth Games so I accepted the challenge and went for the 70kg.

“There was no point working this hard not to get picked for the team.”

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Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years