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HONOURABLE MENTIONS – The Smackwear Awards 2018

We’re into the closing days of voting for the Smackwear 2018 Awards.

Voting in all 15 categories remains open until midnight on Sunday [December 30th], with results being announced on New Year’s Eve.

All in all there are 156 nominees but we couldn’t nominate everyone and there are a few honourable mentions in some of the categories

Polls for all categories are available below for anyone who may have missed out over the past week.

Click the name of the award for more in-depth detail on the nominees

The Rinty Monaghan Fighter of the Year
In association with Liffey Crane Hire

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Michaela Walsh
The Belfast featherweight was one of Ireland’s most consistent performers in 2018, stepping out of camp for the Commonwealth Games to win the Elite 57kg title before heading to Australia and claiming gold. Returning to competitive action soon after, Walsh then took bronze at the European Championships.

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The John Duddy Fight of the Year

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Niall Kennedy v Joel Caudle
The Wexford heavyweight was left disappointed with the draw but his slugfest with Caudle went down a treat. The majority draw in New Hampshire has been described as one of the best heavyweight fights in New England for decades and Kennedy, who probably deserved the nod, suffered little ill-effects career-wise.

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The Andy Lee KO of the Year

Conor Cooke (v Pawel Kucharski)

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The Eamonn Magee Jr Prospect of the Year
In association with Dublin Plumbing & Gas

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David Oliver Joyce
Through no fault of his own, the Mullingar super feather remains in the prospect class having seen some big fights fall through in 2018. ‘The Punisher’ did rack up four wins this year: a stunning KO of Lyuben Todorov, a stoppage versus the game Jordan Ellison, and victories over tough Mexicans Arturo Lopez and Jorge Zaczontetl.

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Moment of the Year

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Gráinne Walsh Best Boxer
The Offaly welter stole the show at the Senior Elite Championships in February with a dominant win in the final over Ciara Ginty. This win saw her declared the inaugural winner of the Jimmy Magee Memorial Cup for Best Female Boxer and there was a lovely moment when she was presented with the trophy in the ring by the late broadcasting legend’s daughters.

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Performance of the Year

Declan Geraghty (v Johnny Quigley)
A big win which flew under the radar, Geraghty went to Preston in March where he would score a stunningly effective and clear win over Scouse trickster Quigley.

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Breakthrough of the Year

Mick Conlan
While it was a breakthrough that was predicted, and indeed expected, Mick Conlan still did rise rapidly through the ranks in 2018. Moving to eight rounders, the Belfast feather claimed four wins – including over recent world title challenger Adeilson Dos Santos before beating Jason Cunningham to claim the WBO Inter-Continental title.

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The Freddie Gilroy Young Boxer of the Year

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Dean Clancy
In what was his first year at the age category, the Sligo flyweight claimed silver at the European Youth Championships. Clancy would also compete at the World Youth Championships and the Youth Olympics where he lost out in a box-off for bronze.

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The Micky Ward Round of the Year

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Carl Frampton v Nonito Donaire (Round 11)
The Belfast boxer largely dominated his fight with the Filipino legend but had to dig deep to overcome a hairy moment in the thrilling eleventh as Donaire rolled back the years with a series of hooks that had Frampton momentarily rocked.

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The Patrick Hyland Sr Trainer of the Year

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Jonathan Lewins & Ray Ginley
Monkstown’s Lewins led Stephen McAfee to the BUI Celtic title win with their rematch victory over Colin O’Donovan and has also since linked up with Dylan McDonagh who pushed Carl McDonald close for the Irish super bantam crown.

Belfast’s Ginley has been in the corner for a number of prospects and contenders this year, from Lewis Crocker, Steven Donnelly, and Padraig McCrory to Anto Upton, Ger Healy, and Mark Morris.

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Comeback of the Year

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Larry Fryers
The New York-based Monaghan light welter was shockingly stopped on the big Matchroom bill in Brooklyn back in April but refused to wallow in defeat. Changing his entire team, ‘Lethal Larry’ has rebounded with three straight wins, most recently stepping up to eight rounds, and is now in a far better position than before his first loss.

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The Alejandro González Jr Opponent of the Year

Teodora Hristova
Decked out in a pair of runners and weighing in substantially lighter, not much was expected of the Bulgarian flyweight when she took on Cathy McAleer. However, Hristova brought the fight and gave McAleer a real scare, pushing the Belfast boxer for every second before being edged out on the scorecard.

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The Sean Mannion Gallant Defeat of the Year

Amy Broadhurst
The Dundalk light welter was denied a bronze medal at the World Championships in India following an extremely controversial defeat to home favourite Sarita Devi. Broadhurst, however, took the ‘loss’ with extreme class and has spoken about it with real dignity and maturity since.

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Pro Debut of the Year


Martin Wall
The Crumlin welter was involved in an exciting mini-brawl with Hungarian Zoltan Lepsenyi on the ‘Rise Again’ card. Buzzed with some big shots, Wall would bite down and steamroll the visitor with a big finishing bodyshot

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: