It’s the regular bridesmaid versus a fighter making his first walk down the aisle when Christian Cekiso and Paddy Adamus come head-to-head in this year’s National Elite Senior featherweight final on Saturday night.
Having lost more semi-finals and split-decisions than some have had hot dinners, Portlaoise BC’s Cekiso goes into the decider fueled by years of disappointments.
On the other hand, Adamus of Driminagh BC has a totally different perspective.
Despite his fair share of Intermediates defeats, the 22-year-old has reached the final stage of the premier domestic amateur contest at the first time of asking and will enter the ring at the National Stadium full of untarnished excitement.
“I am super excited,” Adamus, who is two years younger than his foe, told Irish-Boxing.com.
“This is my first time doing the Elites and I am in the final, it is exciting.”
The Dubliner enjoyed an impressive 2018 with Intermediate and under-22 success.
However, Adamus has also known defeat at crucial stages having lost in the under-22 lightweight final last month but claims, rather than dishearten him, it provided him with learning experiences he can use to get over the line this weekend.
“I feel sharp, we had the under-22s, I lost out in the final, but learnt coming into this. So now I am sharp, fit and I have extra experience behind me. I am looking forward to it.”
Despite being a Elite debutant, the Driminagh man claims he is aware of his foe and his abilities.
He respects the Portlaoise puncher, but is confident he has what it takes to win an Elite title at the first time of asking.
“I’ve seen him box a few times. I saw him in the Celtic Cup. I saw his fight with Myles [Casey, in last week’s semi-final].”
“He is a good lad. He is fast. I am not going to underestimate him and I expect a good fight. I believe when I produce my best I can beat and out perform the best.”
Adamus has campaigned at lightweight in recent times, but dropped down for these particular championships with 60kg being removed from the Olympic roster, and he believes he is reaping the reward of the extra sacrifice.
“This time I had to make the weight properly. I am eating healthy, feeling good, my weight is perfect. I feel strong at this weight altogether,” he outlined.
“Lads are the same height as me too. Usually at lightweight the lads would be taller so all the lads are same height and I feel strong.”
EU champion Kurt Walker is generally seen as the main man at 57kgs. Indeed, many see the Lisburn fighter as a genuine Olympic hope.
However, if Adamus wins this coming Saturday his team may argue that, as Irish champion he has earned the right to try and qualify for Tokyo 2020.
This isn’t something the young fighter won’t concern him with until after Saturday night but he has been open to challenging Walker in the past.
“Win the title and see what happens then,” Adamus adds ahead of the biggest fight of his life.