Ireland beat England in last night’s international at Dublin’s National Stadium.Rio Olympians Brendan Irvine and Steven Donnelly and Stephen McKenna, Moira McElliggot and Sean McComb posted a high five in a 5-2 victory.
McKenna was involved in a see-saw tussle with Louis Lynn in the opening bout of the session before earning a split decision. Likewise with St Michael’s Athy southpaw McEillggot who edged Raven Chapman in the only women’ bout on the card, while Irvine found the target with sharp shots throughout his flyweight contest against the durable Ismail Khan.
“Delighted to get the win, tough one, though,” said the European Games silver medallist.
McComb, also a European Games medallist, won spontaneous rounds of applause for his crisp body to head combinations in rounds two and three against tough English light-welter Mason Smith.
McComb’s win made it 4-0 to the host nation and ensured that Ireland was guaranteed victory from the seven-bout meeting.
Donnelly, who won two fights in Rio before being edged out by Morocco’s World champion Mohamed Rabbi, put more daylight between the sides after a typically aggressive display against Lewis Richardson, who finished the fight with a cut near his right eye.
Donnelly moved up from welter to middle for the three rounder.
Emmett Brennan, a late replacement for current European Elite champion and World Elite silver medallist Joe Ward, was beaten by George Crotty and the battle of the Irish and English captains – Darren O’Neill versus Chevron Clarke – went the way of the English skipper.
Both men, both current Irish and English champions, had their moments in what was probably the bout of the night. O’Neill finished his shift with a sweet left hook on the bell, but Clarke, who won a British title recently, got a unanimous decision.“It could have gone either way. I thought he won the first and the second was close and I won the third. That’s the way it goes,” said O’Neill.
Olympic champions Katie Taylor and Michael Carruth and World and European Elite champion and medallists Michael Conlan, Kellie Harrington, Joe Ward and Christina Desmond, along with ex-WBO champion and Irish Olympian Andy Lee, were at ringside this evening supporting Team Ireland.
Head coach Zaur Antia was in attendance and Eddie Bolger and Dmitry Dimitruc were working Ireland’s corner.
Ireland v England National Stadium Dublin December 16th
52kg Brendan Irvine (Ireland) beat Ishmail Khan (England) 2-1
56kg Stephen McKenna (Ireland) beat Louis Lynn (England) 2-1
57kg Moira McElligott (Ireland) beat Raven Chapman (England) 2-1
64kg Sean McComb (Ireland) beat Mason Smith (England) 3-0
75kg Steven Donnelly (Ireland) beat Lewis Richardson (England) 3-0
81kg Emmett Brennan (Ireland) lost to George Crotty (England) 0-3
91kg Darren O’Neill (England) lost to Chevron Clarke (England) 0-3
Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey look ahead to 2017 in episode 1 of The Irish Boxing Show