“A lot of people will have lost money tonight.”
Those were the words of young Olympic BC coach Mike Mongan following his cousin’s win at the National Elite Senior finals on Friday night.
Pat Mongan upset the pre-fight 9/2 odds to take home a shock Senior title to Galway, ousting the talented George Bates to win the lightweight crown.
All heart, the Connacht puncher pushed until the final bell to claim a narrow split decision win and the Irish Elite Senior title
An emotional Mongan told Irish-Boxing.com afterwards that “the work, the effort, the hardship, the heartache, it’s so overwhelming to come out with this. The decision was so close, I felt my heart break when they called out the blue corner.”
“I wont lie, I would not have done it without the crowd behind me. I could hear it, my coach Mike, I could hear him calling. To see the emotion on his face too. If it never comes again, I will never forget it.”
Going into the final, Bates had the height, youth, and technical skill that many felt would see him coast to victory. 28 year old Mongan on the other hand was a late starter to the sport, and took a prolonged break in his twenties. Short in stature, the relentless pressure fighter may be seen as something of an unfashionable choice as Ireland’s new top 60kg boxer, and Mongan admitted how “I wont lie, I’m known for being a small bit thick, but it’s what I do, I go forward, I go forward.”
“My boxing will never change. All I can do is perfect it, and get it right, and master it. I have a lot more to give.”
“Look it, Davey Oliver Joyce did it for long enough, and he did it well.”
For Mongan, the dream has been achieved. However, this is now the second time that you could say that, and a third dream has already began. The family man recalled how “when I came back boxing and joined Olympic I said I wanted one Irish title – I got the Intermediates [in 2014].”
“I thought I would be happy with one Irish title, but then I was kind of thinking ‘well I’m still not number one in Ireland.’ Now I am, and I’m over the moon… but it’s time to get a European medal!”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)