“I should be in Santa Ponsa partying right now!” – Caitlin Fryers answers the medal call


Caitlin Fryers was meant to fly out to Santa Ponsa last weekend.

The World Youth bronze medallist and European Youth silver medallist was all set for a week in the Majorcan party resort but she instead found herself in dreary, drizzly Dublin on Friday night.

Eliminated by a Russian in the opening round of the European Youth Championships in Italy in April, the Belfast flyweight had thought her underage amateur career was over.

She had not met the controversial new qualification standard for the World Youth Championships in Budapest and it looked like it would be a Summer off for the Immaculata fighter ahead of a move to the adult ranks next year.

However, a phone call last month changed everything.

“After the Europeans, where I got beaten in my first fight, I hadn’t qualified,” she recalled to Irish-Boxing.com on Friday night following her Irish U-18 title win over Carndonagh’s Jessica Clarke.

“Then around late June I got notified that I got a quota place so I was happy about that, I was straight back into training.”

With a number of qualified boxers not heading to Hungary for the tournament next month, a slot has been passed to Fryers who, despite the short notice, is keen to make the most of the surprise even if it means making some sacrifices.

The 18-year-old explained how “I’ve only started back up training recently, I’m going to take the opportunity now.”

“I ended work and left off my holiday – I should be in Santa Ponsa partying right now!”

“It’s 30 degrees there but I don’t mind.

On Friday, Fryers was given a real test by old rival Clarke but she eventually prevailed on a 4-1 split.

The Mac Lady described how “I started off quite slow but then I started to get into it a bit more and catching her easier.”

“I knew what I had to do, keep the head down, be first, and mix it up – she was a good opponent.”

“We’ve fought about seven or eight times, right up from Girl 1 we’ve fought each other every year the whole way up.”

Italian Martina La Piana, who defeated Fryers’s defeator Lyubov Sharapova at the at the Euros, will be in Ireland this week at the St Brigid’s Edenderry sparring camp.

Fryers will be an hour and a half up the road, however, at the High Performance Unit in Abbotstown, and she is keen make amends for her uncustomary early exit in April.

“Hopefully I can do a bit better this time than I did in the Europeans,” she stated.

Photo Credit: National Stadium Boxing Videos

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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: joneill6@tcd.ie