In the National Open U18 tournament 60kg final, Cork’s Alex Higgins overcame Wexford’s Sean Dempsey on a 3-2 split decision.
The pair had met before during the Summer, with Higgins triumphing 5-0, but the clash on Friday night was a completely different fight and one which took the eventual winner aback.
“He [Dempsey] came in with a different gameplan altogether,” Higgins told Irish-Boxing.com afterwards.
“I just had to adapt to that straight away. I adapted well there, in the third and second rounds especially. The first round was tight,” added the Fr Horgan’s fighter.
A razor-close bout which both boxers believed they had won, with celebrations galore following the final bell, Higgins described how the result was never in doubt for him.
“I was confident,” claimed the Leesider. “After the first I thought I shaded the second, the third was close as well but I thought I edged it.”
“It was a very tight fight, we’ve fought already in the Celtic Box Cup final so I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, obviously, but I felt very confident after the Celtic Box Cup win.”
A humble fighter, Higgins was keen to credit his coaching team at Fr Horgans, and explained how “the boys have been coaching me all the time, the door is always open, it’s all down to the dedication of the coaches.”
“It’s down to all the training we’re doing, every day. I’d like to thank him, he’s unbelievable, there’s no-one better in the world.”
Coach Kevin Crinnion added that “he’s a very hard worker. From a coaches point of view, he has to work hard, that’s the most important.”
“He’s trained very hard for the last few months.”
Higgins is now in line to be selected for the team that will head to the European Youth Championships in Italy this April and it’s a case of back to the grindstone.
“That will be a very big challenge,” the Rebel teen admits.
“I’ll train very hard and, hopefully, I want to win a gold medal over there as well.”