KO King Mongan – “I wanted to show people that I am good enough”

Ennis super heavyweight Martin John Mongan exploded onto the scene last year.

The big man won the first under 18 championships back in and would represent Ireland at the European Youth Championships.

However, by the time the second under 18s came around – to determine the team for the World Youth Championships – Mongan would fall at the final hurdle.

That disappointment, and his admitted complacency beforehand, would spur the youngster on and he reclaimed his title at the National Stadium on Sunday.

A determined Mongan, who received a bye to the final, blasted Luke Hill of Crumlin out within a round to win the title, his third.

Analysing the fight, Mongan told Irish-Boxing.com that “that fella, he probably wasn’t long in boxing and I just saw the finish, he opened up for it, and I went for the kill.

“Thank God, I trained hard for it, and I got the win.”

The aggression and knockout power has developed recently for Mongan, who is now into his second year at under 18 level.

“This year, kind of,” he agreed.

“This is my third stoppage in a row at championships. I boxed in an ABA in England, had two fights in it, and stopped both lads in the second round.”

“I’m getting bigger, stronger, and better.”

“With the year, the strength has come up a good bit. Last time I was a year younger than everyone and still got the win in the first under 18s, and lost on a split decision in the second under 18s.”

Looking back on his final with Kevin Sheehy of St Francis’s last August, Mongan explained that lessons have been learned and that he came into these championships with a point to prove.

“I beat him [Sheehy] in the first under 18s, but then a couple of months later I had gotten a bit out of shape and when you’ve beaten someone before you don’t try as hard again.”

“Over the last few months I wanted to show people, show everyone here, that I am good enough to win it and retain my title.”

The Clare fighter is now in line for a return to the European Youths in Turkey this September, where he will look to improve on his quarter final showing from last year.

“Hopefully Europeans now,” he said.

“I’m just going to get my head down, train hard, and hopefully I’m picked for the team.”

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie