In what was one of the closest bouts of the night, Kilkenny’s Keith Flavin emerged as the new National Under-22 light welterweight champion.
The Paulstown puncher took a razor-tight split-decision win over Caoimhin Ferguson of the Gleann club – a verdict disputed by the Belfast teen’s corner and supporters.
In what was at times a messy fight, two of the judges gave the nod to the rangier, more experienced Flavin who landed some clean and eye-catching shots on the ferocious Ferguson who kept up the pressure throughout – culminating in an all-out war in the final round.
Speaking afterwards to Irish-Boxing.com, Flavin described how “I started slow in the first round, I probably lost the first round. Then I came out and started using my jab, starting throwing a few more shots, getting things put together, and started using my head. I thought it went well.”
“The last round then I really came out guns blazing because I knew I had to win it. I was level going into the last round. I was bit frustrated because they kept bringing me over to the doctors [to clean a cut caused by an accidental head clash], I just wanted to stay going and push on and win the fight. I’m happy with the result.”
21 year old Flavin, who has twice fought in the Senior Elites, now wants to build on the win, and admitted that “I need to push on a bit now, start training a bit more, and take my shot.”
Where Flavin, older brother to multiple-time Irish champion Shane, will go next is currently undecided, with both the National Senior Elites and the European Under-22s on the horizon.
“I have to see know with the two coaches and have a think about these Europeans, and whether we’re allowed enter the Seniors or not. I’ll make the choice myself at the end of the day, but the coaches will help me. I’m not thinking too much about it at the moment, we’ll see what happens.”
Eric Donovan joins Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill on Episode 2 of the Irish Boxing Show: