Donagh Keary is happy to ignore the ‘you can’t read too much into sparring’ boxing saying and goes into the EuropeanU22 Championships full of confidence on the back of how he performed in the training ring.
The Rathfriland BC prospect will represent Ireland at featherweight at the continental contest in November and travels to Budva confident of a medal.
Indeed, the newly crowned senior champion is going for gold!
It’s a confident approach from Keary but he travels buoyed by his performances in the sparring ring against the likes of Commonwealth gold medal winner Jude Gallagher and European and Commonwealth medalist Dylan Eagleson.
“You have to go expecting to win don’t ya?” he tells Irish-boxing.com.
“You have to be confident. All my spars are tougher than my fights, it’s never easy but when you are getting in the ring you are thinking ‘I’ve been in with the top boys.’ I know if I perform I can beat anyone on my day. I bring that confidence to the Europeans.”
Some suggest you can’t read too much into sparring but it’s an approach that has worked for the Co Down man.
The 19-year-old says he went into the recent Senior Championships knowing he would claim another title.
“Every Irish title means something. It’s just I was expected to go win [this one]. I knew I was going to win. I’ve been sparring with the likes of Jude Gallagher, Dylan Eagleson and all the Elite boys and getting good rounds. I’m ready for that next step.”
Saturday’s win means Keary is now a three-time Irish champion and he now believes he has found himself as a fighter.
“When turned senior I started to pick it up. I had so much pressure on myself when I was younger so when I got to finals I’d make silly mistakes and rush.”