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Mongan hoping to medal in Russia after being stopped “for literally nothing” last time

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Clare heavyweight Martin Jim Mongan gave a composed display on Saturday afternoon at the National Championships to retain his Under 18 title.

The Ennis BC fighter took on Paul McCullough of the St John Bosco club in Belfast and scored a somewhat comfortable win over a game opponent.

Afterwards Mongan spoke to and described how “it was a tough tough fight.”

“I was just finding my pace and keeping my breathing going in the first round, I thought I started a bit slow.”

“Then in the second round I was kinda getting into it and I was landing cleaner and heavier and stronger shots.”

“It’s three [Irish titles] this year, and five in the last 16 months.”

The Munster big man credited his tactics for the win, and noted that “it was a good gameplan and I want to say thanks to my father, and my coach John Sweeney, and Rathkeale Boxing Club for all they’ve done for me over the last couple of months. I wouldn’t have been nowhere without them today. I’ve been up training with them for the last couple of weeks.”

“Great men, I also want to give a shout out to Gavin Healy, Robert Williams, Joe Williams, and Peter Williams, and Henry Long.”

Mongan will now most likely be part of the Irish team which heads to Russia in November for the World Championships in St Petersburg – and he is hoping for a fairer shake than at his last major international tournament.

Earlier this Summer, Mongan lost his first bout at the European Youths, also in Russia, when he was ludicrously stopped in the opening round of his fight with Belarussian Dmitriy Sinkin – despite being in absolutely no trouble and still trading with his opponent.

The confident teen explained that “I went out to the Europeans and the referee stopped me for literally nothing.”

“The ref beat me, not the other lad, I was well able for him, I was just getting into the groove of the fight.”

Mongan, whose cousin Martin John lost on Friday in the Under-18 super heavyweight semi finals, is eyeing a medal on his return to Russia, commenting “hopefully, if everything goes to the gameplan now and I perform well.”

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: