Kristina O’Hara hopes to “sway” selectors with dominant Ulster title win
Kristina O’Hara demonstrated on Friday night how she is head and shoulders above every other Irish light flyweight.
The reigning Irish Elite Senior champion added the 2017 Ulster Elite crown to her collection following a dominant win over Chloe Fleck.
Lashing in hurtful bodyshots from the start and inflicting counts in the second and third rounds, it was a fearsome display from O’Hara to open the show at the Ulster Hall.
The St John Bosco fighter described afterwards how “I’m over the moon, I trained my heart out for it, mind and body. I’m just happy, really happy.”
“I knew what to do, my coach had me ready. My coach had me ready for everything, it’s what we trained for. Body shots were obviously effective, I almost took her out of there in the last round.”
While she had worked hard, preparations were far from ideal. O’Hara’s grandfather, Gerry, had passed away just two weeks previously, and she said that “I won the fight with him, I knew he was with me every step of the way.”
“I had a bit of a flu there this week, so I was suffering a wee bit, but the training paid off anyway.”
It was a fist fight back since the EU Championships in August for O’Hara. She blasted her way into the quarter finals in Italy before losing a dubious decision to an Italian.
While she was cruelly denied a medal, the West Belfast boxer has taken it all in her stride and noted how “I had a bad decision against the Italian, in her home country. It was a bit of a bad decision, but no matter what happens in this game, you have to be a sportsperson.”
“If I was to throw a head up on a bad decision like that, people remember those things. You take it on the chin and move forward, work harder, and improve.”
“I’m just back from the EUs and I haven’t been out of the gym, even when I was sick I had the sweatsuit on and was out on my runs!”
Italy was good experience for O’Hara, whose main goal remains the Commonwealth Games in Australia next month.
More than most though, there is plenty of uncertainty for the 21 year old. Light flyweight, for the first time, is included in the weight classes for the Gold Coast, however it is still unsure if the non-Olympic class will actually be included. Then there is the small matter of being one of the fighters selected by the Ulster Council in the first place.
O’Hara outlined how “there’s no final decision yet on what weights they’re picking or who’s going to be one hundred percent going. Hopefully after that performance it was good enough to sway them a wee bit.”
“I’ve no problem at all [moving up to 51kgs]. I make the weight handy, I was weighing in 47.5kg every morning no problem. I’m fine to go with 48kg, I’m fine to go with 51kg, whatever’s put in front of me on the night I’ll deal with”
“I know what I’m capable of and hopefully it pays off and I get to the Commonwealth Games.”