Gabriel Dossen – “Last year I was struggling to win an Irish title, never mind a World medal!”

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A star was born in Russia last week.

Light welterweight Garbiel Dossen, the youngest member of the nine-man Irish team, claimed a bronze medal at the World Youth Championships in what was, amazingly, his first major international tournament.

Showing plenty of style, a sprinkle of pizzazz, and buckets of grit, Dossen claimed three wins en-route to the semi finals where he fell to the home favourite.

The Galway boxer, who turned 17 earlier this week, spoke to Irish-Boxing.com about his sensational showing in St Petersburg and described how “winning a bronze medal means a lot to me after all the hard work I’ve been putting in throughout the year, during the Summer I had to sacrifice a lot while I continued to train for the U18’s. Being ranked third in the world is a phenomenal achievement because this time last year I was struggling to win an Irish title never mind a World medal!”

“My club kept me focused and motivated on my goals. It’s my best achievement in my boxing career so far, and hopefully there’s more to come.”

Dossen mentions his club, Olympic BC, whom he only moved to in March of last year. Since then, under the tutelage of Mike Mongan, the talented teen has gone from strength to strength, and he acknowledged how “before I moved to Olympic BC I was on a downhill spiral and I was more focused on other sports to be honest. Once I moved to the club everything started to peak – but to think that after being in the club for just over a year and winning a World bronze medal was beyond my dreams.”

It’s a testament to Dossen’s development that he entered the tournament in Saint Petersburg with the feeling that he belonged there, and he recalled how “usually before most fights I would be a bit nervous but not at all in Saint Petersburg. I was extremely confident going into each fight knowing that I can beat anyone in my weight division.”

The win streak ended in the narrowest of circumstances, losing out on a 2:3 split decision to home favourite Sergey Margaryan. Dossen boxed well in the contest, but was edged by the older and stronger Russian, and he noted how “I lost physically, not mentally, and there’s plenty of room for improving my boxing ability.”

This will take place throughout 2017, where Dossen will still be a Youth level boxer, and he outlined how “at the moment I’m taking a break and I’ll be back in the boxing gym after new year’s for the upcoming Pavlyukov Memorial tournament in Anapa, Russia. Hopefully I make the team, perform. and get myself a gold medal out there. From January on it will be non-stop for the year – which will be hard as well because I’m in my final year of school, doing my Leaving Cert.”

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