“I had to win” – Determined Evelyn Igharo hangs on for big Irish title win

The fight of the night on Friday, two major medallists went head to head.

In one corner there was 2017 World Youth bronze winner Katelynn Phelan and in the other there was 2018 European Youth silver medallist Evelyn Igharo.

The fight of the night, Igharo of the Clann Naofa club in Dundalk emerged victorious over her St Brigid’s Kildare opponent.

A real competitive clash of styles, the longer Igharo boxed well at range while Phelan, whose team disagreed strongly with the decision, did damage on the inside.

It wasn’t the first time they had met either, and Igharo explained to Irish-Boxing.com afterwards how “she’d beaten me two years ago in a close fight so I had to win tonight.”

“I knew how she boxed, I knew I had to keep it long or else she’d come inside and make it a brawl.”

17-year-old Igharo, the younger fighter, remains a Youth level fighter next year and she admits she is still adjusting.

The ten-time Irish champion had to withstand a tortuous final round as Phelan came on strong and she admitted that “it really was” all about determination.

“I’m still getting used to the three-minute round fights and I could really feel the extra minute going on.”

While she fulfilled the qualifying criteria for the World Youth Championships later this month, Igharo will not be going to Budapest.

Still developing, the Louth fighter’s plans are to keep busy.

“I’m not sure,” she replies when asked what’s next.

“I’ll have a couple of tournaments, the Michael Andrews and a few others.”


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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: [email protected]