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“I really wanted it so bad this year” – Duffy delighted with Irish title and reveals pro dream

Dervla Duffy was back up at 57kg on Friday night to win another Irish title, and it may be time for a new chapter in the decorated featherweight’s career.

The Mulhuddart boxer defeated reigning champion Moira McElligott via 4-1 split decision at the National Stadium in Dublin. Duffy got stronger and stronger as the bout progressed, and the experienced fighter deservedly claimed a fifth all-Ireland belt.

Afterwards Duffy spoke to and described how “I’m delighted, I really wanted it so bad this year. I worked really hard, I always would be a really hard trainer, but this year I sacrificed a lot and thank God it paid off. Ger McDaid has done a lot of work with me at Mulhuddart MBA.”

After returning from bantamweight, Duffy explained that she is able to enjoy the win a lot more, and laughed at how “I was able to eat during training, I didn’t actually know myself, it was magnificent. I’d advise people who are struggling with weight and not getting results to just move up. It definitely made a big difference to my boxing.”

“Especially with three threes, that extra minute I felt Moira was dying in each round. As the rounds went on, the third round was my best round, I had the stamina and fuel there to keep me going.”

In McElligott Duffy faced one of her close friends, but she noted how this made no difference to either the friendship or the fight itself.

“I didn’t realise in there, not one bit” said the Monaghan fighter. “We’ve kept our distance during the last week… well we actually texted once or twice, although we weren’t wishing each other luck! We’ll be back friends now and we’ll continue to be great friends.”

With no major international tournaments until 2018, 34 year old Duffy has her sights set on retaining her crown at the Haringey Box Cup, but admits that a move to the expanding Irish women’s pro scene is something which appeals.

Duffy outlined that “I have the Haringey in London, so I’ll probably go to that because I’m the reigning champion four years in a row. I’ve never been beaten out there and I get very good fights.”

“I’m contemplating turning pro to be honest. I don’t know what’s out there, but I would contemplate turning professional if I got approached by the right people. I’ve sparred with Lynn Harvey, but I’d be a bit heavier than Lynn. I’ve sparred with a few lads who are pro, I’m sure they were holding back on me, but I got on well.”

“I’m sure that style would suit me better. I’d be quite muscular for a girl, and strong, and I like to fight, I wouldn’t mind the no headgear. It would all suit me , there are a lot of plusses.”

“Maybe, who knows? We’ll see, but I’m open to offers!”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

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: