Injury can’t stop incredible Gabriel Dossen from reaching Elite Senior Final


His right knee extensively padded, a noticeable limp, a somewhat pained expression – the circumstances weren’t ‘ideal’ for Gabriel Dossen on Saturday night.

However, while the performance being laboured, the class was still evident from the Galway middleweight who proved he has more than enough guts to go with his highly touted skills.

Just a few days before his National Elite Senior Championships semi-final win over Brett McGinty, Dossen suffered an injury in sparring which left his continued participation in doubt but was still able to turn in a quite incredible one-legged performance to score a thrilling unanimous decision win over McGinty.

Forced to set his feet, the 19-year-old rallied off some incredible combinations against his strong Derry-Donegal opponent, impressing against last year’s runner-up despite his obvious discomfort.

Afterwards, Dossen described how “I hurt my knee there on Tuesday, did the ligaments in my knee, they told me I wasn’t going to box today.”

“I was sparring a lad from Dublin and, whatever way he came in, he hit the side of my leg and my ankle stayed planted and my knee moved in. I head something crack.”

“I haven’t been for an MRI yet but I’ve been for an x-ray and it was grand, I think it will be my meniscus or something, ligaments in my knee anyway.”

Despite the pain, despite the advice, despite the crutches, Dossen remained positive throughout and explained how “I just had no doubt in my head that I’d be able to fight. Doctors were putting doubt in my head but me and Mike [Mongan, coach] kept a straight head and said that I’ll be able to box and I’ll be fine.”

“I just kept on recovering, ice baths and going to physios a couple of times. I was on crutches the last few days, until yesterday [Friday].”


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The Olympic BC teenager, a World and European Youth bronze medallist, has no doubts that he will be ready for Saturday’s decider – and a close quarters contest with the relentless McGinty was decent preparations.

“I didn’t really have a choice!” he laughs when reflecting on his first toe-to-toe battle for a long while. “I had to throw them from there, I couldn’t move and throw.”

“I boxed well… I boxed below average. I went in there and I had to box strange. I couldn’t move too much.”

“I boxed well today when it only happened four days ago so I’m sure, for the final, it will be grand,” he adds, referring to the knee injury and looking ahead to his clash with Dubliner Brennan.

Dossen, who dumped out reigning champion Michael Nevin in the quarters, outlined how “it’s just rest now, I’m back in on Tuesday for an MRI.”

“It should be grand for the final. Emmet Brennan – it will be a good fight, two years ago he was the Elite champion. I’m beating top names here so I am. He’s strong, he’s old enough, 26 or something. He’s one of the strongest in the weight. A strong boxer who can move in and out.”

“This will be the biggest fight I’ve ever been in, the Elite final has been my dream to fight in. Everything from here is a bonus because I’m already in the final, I’m only young, I’m only 19.”

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie