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Justified Hype – Gabriel Dossen ignoring pro offers as Tokyo charge heats up

Nothing will get in the way of Gabriel Dossen and his Olympic Dream – no fighter or no big promotional offer assures the Galway talent.

The Olympic BC fighter took step one toward the fulfilling his massive potential by coming out of one of the toughest weight class in this year’s National Elite Championships with the 75kg title.

A competitive win over Emmet Brennan for the Fighter of the Tournament now puts the teen on the trek to Toyko and the confident, yet far from arrogant, youngster from the West claims he will do all he can to insure he heads East in 2020.

One of four Galway winners on an entertaining night of action, Dossen wants to prove himself at the European U22 championships next week in Russia before securing Olympic qualification via the European Games in Minsk this June.

The decorated underage star, who won his first National Elite title on Saturday at the first attempt, is adamant no man will stand between him and his Olympic dream and also reassured that pro offers haven’t tempted him to ditch the vest.

“In 10 days I am flying out to the European under-22s and that is going to be another big test and I am going to show my ability out there. Hopefully I can show how good I am.”

“There is no point in winning all these championships at home if you don’t represent on the international stage especially when there is talent at my weight. That is what I think anyway,” he told after enjoying the adulation of a large support .

“Then it’s the European Games in Belarus and hopefully that is where I qualify for the Olympics.  That’s my whole plan. Anyone that is in the way is going to get beat, that’s just the way it’s going to be,” he continued before addressing pro offer rumours.

“There is, yeah [pro offers], but I am staying amateur until after the Olympics. I want to go the Olympics and then pro. The Olympics is the perfect foundation before I go pro.”

Dossen is a one of a number of young talents there is a deal of hype about,but, apart from success and Best Boxer awards at the Haringey and Eindhoven Box Cups, there were still some previously burnt by hype and more cautious experts who reserved judgement until the Connacht fighter proved it at Elite level.

He certainly did in that in this year’s all-Irelands and, although he hints that his quarter-final with reigning champ Michael Nevin may have been his toughest test, he suggests that victory off the back of a knee injury over 2017 champ Brennan allowed him to prove he was ready to fight men.

Dossen described how “there is something special in winning this one, but I had the feeling once I won my first fight that no one else in the competition was going to beat me as long as I performed.”

“It was a hard weight. Tonight was a tough opponent, something different for me because he was mature. The other two opponents I had were younger. He tried to come in with big shots to hurt me but to be honest I seen them coming in from a mile away. It was a bit scrappy sometimes, but that happens and I got the win.”

“They quarters and semis [v Brett McGinty] were against lads I trained with, lads I went abroad with, I went the World Championships with both of them, so I knew them. This was the first time I stepped in the ring with Emmet and there was an element of a test from a man.”

Whilst wins over good fighters in Box Cups would have given Dossien confidence and proved he was now a talented senior fighter rather than underage operator with talent. there was still some degree of pressure going into this year’s tournament and the final in particular. 

However, the teen southpaw claims that any nerves stemmed from the sense of occasion rather than any particular fight or opponent.

“I went to the Eindhoven Box Cup and I boxed good boxers there, but this was the biggest fight I ever had in my life. I was more nervous of the event, not so much of the opponent. The opponent was top class and quality, but the event and the people that were here made me a little more nervous.”

Despite only being 19, Dossen is one of the more talked about performers in Irish amateur boxing at present.

However, the World and European Youth bronze medallist is determined to ensure the hype doesn’t affect him and is mature enough to know it could be gone as quick as one big punch can be landed.

“There is a bit of hype there, but it’s only because I am winning. If I was losing that wouldn’t be there. They are not hyping me for who I am they are hyping me because I am winning and obviously they see talent.”

“I have my inner circle and they make sure I am not distracted. I shut out that outer circle and the other stuff. I stay focused on the next challenge and what I have too. ”

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


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Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: