Kristina O’Hara made a victorious return to the National Stadium on Friday night.
The Belfast fighter burst onto the scene as an 18 year old in 2015, reaching the Senior Elite flyweight final.
Following the loss to Céire Smith however she would take a step away from tournaments to rebuild and mature, and returned at the weekend in a new weight division and looking even better than ever.
The St John Bosco boxer would soundly defeat Intermediate champion Carol Coughlan to move into this week’s light flyweight final.
O’Hara would land a wide array of punches on the game Dublin fighter to take a unanimous decision win.
Afterwards the Ulsterwoman told Irish-Boxing.com that “the first 30 seconds you’re getting to know your boxer, sussing your boxer out. She’s a tough girl, she could fairly take a punch, she came forward and she gave as good. She went for it, and for that I have nothing but respect. She gave me a good contest, my first time fighting three threes as well.”
On the change in round length, O’Hara noted how “it didn’t really affect me, I didn’t find much difference. I’m good, I’m fit, and I’m sharp. I was ready for it, you have to prepare for what you have to do.”
The 20 year old looked a force at the new weight class, and it is one which makes sense for her. She explained how that “even when I was boxing at 51kg, I was walking around at 49kg, 49.5kg, I wasn’t even hitting 50kg. My coach and myself both said I should go down to 48kg, that it was the best thing to do.”
“I made the weight handy, no sweatsuits, I had to cut out sugar but no diet really. I feel a lot stronger, I’ll be one of the tallest, one of the strongest at the weight.”
O’Hara will face Mayo’s Shannon Sweeney, who received a bye, in the final on Friday. While she has never met the St Anne’s boxer, O’Hara is familiar with her upcoming foe and outlined how “I know a bit about her, every boxer does their homework, but I’ve never seen her box. But, being in boxing as long as I have, you know people, and people know people, if you need information it’s never hard to get.”
“I haven’t boxed in the Stadium in two years now, so first fight back and I’m into a final. I can only do my best from here on in.”
“I’m confident that I’ll go on to win these.”
Eric Donovan joins Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill on Episode 2 of the Irish Boxing Show: