Dervla Duffy (right) is ready to put her friendship with Moira McElligott (left) on hold for a few days ahead of their Senior Elite featherweight final this Friday.
The pair were team mates in the Ireland set-up throughout 2016, and even train together when away from camp.
However, there’ll be none of those training sessions this week after wins for both this past Friday night set up a final showdown at the National Stadium.
In the semis Duffy defeated Cork youngster Tiegan Russell, and admitted to Irish-Boxing.com afterwards that “I knew very little about her. I didn’t underestimate her, but she probably gave me a better fight that I thought she would. She was very tough, came forward a lot. She took a lot of hard shots, but it was no bother to her, she kept coming.”
“It was my first fight back since the European Championships and I needed it as well, I was a bit rusty with some things. But I caught her with a few nice uppercuts and some things we’d been practicing like pulling down the guard.”
Duffy, champion last time out at bantam, has moved up in weight for this tournament. She explained how “I was really struggling at 54kg. I’m very muscular for a girl and I find that I get drained quite quickly. So when I heard that they were introducing three threes, I knew I wouldn’t have the stamina for it [at 54kg].”
“I’ve gone up to 57kg and I don’t know myself when I’m training because I can eat! Before, I’d be eating a minimal amount and training in a sweatsuit. It was killing my passion for boxing, it was really souring me. It was give up or step up.”
There were no issues with the longer format either, and she noted that “I’ve been training a lot for three threes, I didn’t really think it affected me at all – and it was a very high tempo fight.”
All eyes are now on Friday’s final, and Duffy is excited to face the reigning champ. Discussing the Kerry southpaw, she described how “I’m looking forward now to fighting Moira McElligott, who would actually be a good friend of mine, in the finals. We’ve travelled away a lot together. It’ll be interesting, southpaw v orthodox.”
“I’ve never boxed Moira before, but I’d know a lot about her. We’d train together as friends, she’d come out to my house, I’m in Mulhuddart and she’s only in Athy so she’d come over. Although none of that this week until we’re out of the ring and we’re friends again!”
Eric Donovan joins Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill on Episode 2 of the Irish Boxing Show: