Pole Position – Historic Ulster Champ Karol Długosz wants more


Karol Długosz could not believe it when he was declared Ulster Elite Senior champion on Saturday night.

The Ballymoney heavyweight overcame Holy Trinity’s Michael Erpelding on a 3-2 split and the announcement of his victory led to an outpouring of emotion as he made more than one piece of history.

Długosz became the first Ulster Elite champion from the Scorpion club and also the first champion from Poland.

Originally from Łaskarzew, the power puncher moved to Ireland as a 13 year old and has claimed numerous titles since – including the Ulster Intermediate crown.

However, the Ulster Elite title had eluded him until now, with a broken thumb forcing him to concede a walkover in the light heavyweight final last time out.

Długosz feels now is his time to make major waves in the sport on this island and told Irish-Boxing.com after his win that “this year, I said to my coach ‘I’m going to bring your ass down to the Ulster Hall’ and here I am now!”

“I am champion now, I am bringing this back home.”

“It’s only the beginning of 2019 and I’m ready to put in the work to grab all the next titles.”

The adopted Antrim man was delighted to make history and noted how “it’s my first Senior title and it looked like it meant a lot to me because it really does.”

“Over the 30 years of Scorpion Boxing Club we’ve never had a Senior Elite title.”

“I’m all the way from Poland, I’ve been living in this country the last 12 years. I’m the first Polish man to win this title.”

Looking back on the final itself, Długosz admits that he had to dig deep and described how “it was a very tough fight.”

“[Erpelding] showed a lot of class, he was there, he really wanted to win.”

“The last fight I had before this tournament… I don’t even know. I went to the USA, I was training and working there for four months and it gave me a lot of mental toughness, I feel like I’ve developed.”

“It was tough, it was tough, I thought that if it was a split decision, I would never get it, I thought my hand would never go up.”

“It means a lot to me.”

As mentioned above, Długosz is keen to kick on and is one of a number of fighters in a wide-open field targeting the Irish Elite heavyweight title next month.

The big man, however, feels like he needs support to make the breakthrough to the next level and had a message for Ulster High Performance Head Coach John Conlan following his semi-final win earlier this month.

Długosz explained how “I need more sparring, I didn’t spar before this fight. I need to mix with the best to get the best out of me.”

“This was only, I feel, fifty percent of what I have.”

“If I were to have really heavy sparring I believe I would have stopped that guy.”

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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