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Irish FOTY? Eamer Coughlan wins “all-out war” with Terry McEntee

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The couple of hundred fans who made the trip to the National Stadium yesterday for the Under 18 finals were treated to something special in the bantamweight decider.

The 56kg final between Cork’s Eamer Coughlan and Monaghan’s Terry McEntee was nine minutes of pure toe-to-toe action and was one of the best fights that the famous venue had seen in recent years. McEntee of the Old School club literally sprinted at Coughlan when the opening bell rang and the two fighters remained in the pocket, constantly throwing, for the entire fight.

McEntee, who won the 52kg title a few months ago and took European Youth bronze this Summer, snapped Coughlan’s head back a few times in the opening exchanges but the Cork teen continued to pour forward and got stronger and stronger as the bout went on to gain the upper hand and take the win.

Afterwards Coughlan, a World Junior silver medalist in 2015, spoke to about the fight and his opponent, describing how “it was an all-out war.”

“I know the way Terry is, Terry’s an animal, he’ll keep going all three rounds. He’s a brilliant boxer as well.”

“I had to dig deep in the end.”

The move to bantamweight suited McEntee who had knocked his previous two opponents out, but this did not deter Coughlan who approached the bout with his typical attacking style. Indeed the Riverstown boxer joked afterwards that “there’s no fear of me getting knocked out anyway!”

The Irish title win yesterday was “only number two” for Coughlan, but the Leesider explained that “I got to the World Championships after my first Irish title.”

“I’m only 16, I think I’m the youngest champion here, I probably am the youngest champion here.”

The Corkonian is part of something of a boxing Renaissance in the Rebel County alongside the likes of Oliver McCarthy and Tommy Hyde, and Coughlan described how “there’s a brilliant set up down in Cork.”

“Even at the younger ages there’s lads at my club, Riverstown, Conor Walsh is a brilliant boxer, Patrick Dunne, Luke Delaney, there’s an awful lot of boxers coming through my club, Nathan Keegan as well.”

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: