National U18 Championships Preview and Draw

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The National U18 Championships kick off on Friday night in the National Stadium and it promises to have a top quality field with 21 major medals and a vast amount of international experience shared among the 57 competitors.

The 11 finals will be contested next Saturday afternoon at the famous South Circular Road venue in a competition which will help decide who represents Ireland at the World Youth Championships in St Petersburg Russia later this year. It is the second U18 Championships of the year following another tournament in April which was used to determine the entrant to the European Youths earlier this Summer.

One of the eleven titles looks near-confirmed already with Illies GG fighter John Moran required just to make the 46kg pinweight limit next weekend to take home the honours.

At light flyweight Conor McCourt, of Mick Conlan’s home club Clonard ABC, has received a bye to the final and will face the winner of the duel between Glasnevin’s Jordan Moore and Youth 2 48kg champion Liam Glennon of Derry. Belfast’s McCourt is actually stepping down in weight for these championships as he moves into the senior weight-classes, having won the Youth 2 50kg title in April.

At flyweight there is a rematch in the semi finals between Crumlin’s Craig Kavanagh and Clonard’s Conor Quinn, who met in the quarters of this year’s first U18 Championships, with the Dubliner emerging a split-decision winner. In the other semi, Jordan Halpin of St Paul’s Waterford takes on Marble City’s Jimmy McCarthy.

There is a ridiculous amount of talent on show in the bantamweight division. Highly-touted Belfast slickster James McGivern is one, with the St George’s starlet having won Euro Schoolboys gold, Euro Youth silver, and Commonwealth Youth gold in the past few years. He faces a tough test in his first bout though against Cork’s Eamer Coughlan who won World Junior silver last year in St Petersburg and will be itching to return to Russia. Monaghan’s Terry McEntee, a European Youth bronze medalist this Summer at flyweight has jumped up, and will take on Wexford’s Eoin Long. Another former flyweight, Paulstown’s Shane Flavin, who captained Ireland this year at the Pavlyukov Memorial tournament, is also moving up, and will face 2013 European Schoolboys silver medalist Sean Whelan of the Dublin Docklans. The final quarter sees Wexford boxer Aaron O’Brien come up against Cherry Orchard’s Jack Kelly.

At lightweight OLOL’s Paddy Donovan, a World Junior silver medalist in 2015 and the runner up in April’s U18s, looks to be the man to beat. The Limerick fighter comes up against Derry’s Michael McLoughlin in his opening bout. Ciaron Flynn of St Mary’s Daingean has received a bye to the semis, and will face the winner of the bout between Harrison James of Virginia and Castlebar’s Aaron Daly. The last quarter sees Warerford’s Andy McDonagh take on Dungloe’s Matthew McCole in a rematch of their meeting in the last U18s, which was won by McDonagh.

Light welterweight sees a surprise entry from Euro Schoolboys gold and Euro Junior silver medal winner Aaron McKenna. The Old School fighter was thought to have been turning professional in Mexico but has apparently had a change of direction. He will face Naas boxer Airijus Vitlipas in his opening bout. In the other prelim, Waterford’s Jordan Kennedy takes on Tipperary’s Conor Ivorswho has caught the eye of some big names in the pro game. Reigning U18 champion, Euro Schoolboys silver, and Euro Junior gold medalist Jason Harty (along with the other 5 remaining boxers) has received a bye to the quarter finals. Here the Limerick teen takes on Dungarvan’s Peter Cawley. Donegal’s Brian McNamee steps down from 66kg and is up against Youth 2 63kg champ Gabriel Dossen of the Olympic club in Galway. Finally Matthew Davis of Ardagh/Cross takes on Castlebar’s Colm Quinn.

Welterweight is another packed division, led by Derry’s Brett McGinty – a Euro Schoolboys bronze and Commonwealth Youth silver medalist as well as Ireland’s captain at the recent Euro Youths. He faces Limerick’s Jamie Harty (twin brother of Jason), a Euro Schoolboys silver medalist. Bay City’s Paul Ryan, a Euro Schoolboys silver and World Junior bronze winner, gets his campaign started against Glasnevin’s Jordan Meredith, runner-up to McGinty earlier this year at the previous U18s. Sligo’s European Schoolboys gold medalist Jordan Myers faces James Cahill of St Teresas Bray, while Ballyduff’s John Hynes takes on Dubliner John Maughan.

Middleweight features triple European gold medal winner (2012 Schoolboys, 2014 Junior, 2015 Youth) Michael Nevin, who will make a step up in weight to face Dublin’s George Bodor, with the winner facing Jason Clancy of Ballinacarrow in the final.

At light heavyweight Brian Kennedy of St Mary’s Daingean will be looking to defend his crown. He will face Portlaoise’s European Junior silver medalist Jimmy O’Reilly in a rematch of their quarter final meeting in the last U18s. Brian Elliot of Illies GG takes on Dublin’s Reece Morris in the other quarter final. The runner-up in the last U18s, Connemara’s Cathal Griffin, has received a bye to the semi finals where he faces Balbriggan’s Christopher O’Reilly.

At heavyweight Clare’s Martin Jim Mongan is straight into the final where he will hope to defend his title against the winner of Belfast’s Paul McCullough versus Colin Cronin of Carrick-on-Suir.

Finally, in the super heavyweight class, Martin John Mongan, also of Ennis and cousin on Martin Jim, gets his campaign to defend his title underway against St Francis’s Kevin Sheehy in a repeat of their semi final earlier this year. In the other semi, Ballinrobe’s Frank Carr, runner-up earlier this year, is in against Oran Kennedy of St Colmans.

U/18 Championships
National Stadium Dublin

Friday August 19th
Preliminaries (7pm)
56kg Shane Flavin (Paulstown) V Sean Whelan (Dublin Docklands)
56kg James McGiver (St Georges) V Eamer Coghlan (Riverstown)
56kg Terry McEntee (Old School) V Eoin Long (Wexford CBS)
56kg Aaron O’Brien (Wexford CBS) V Jack Kelly (Cherry Orchard)
60kg Harrison James (Virginia) V Aaron Daly (Castlebar)
60kg Andy McDonagh (St Pauls Waterford) V Matthew McCole (Dungloe)
60kg Patrick Donovan (O.L.O.L.) V Michael McLoughlin (St Marys Derry)
64kg Aaron McKenna (Old School) V Airijus Vitlipas (St Davids Naas)
64kg Jordan Kennedy (St Pauls Waterford) V Conor Ivors (Thurles)
69kg Jordan Myers (Sligo City) V James Cahill (St Teresa’s)
69kg Brett McGinty (Oakleaf) V Jamie Harty (Rathkeale)
69kg Jordan Meredith (Glasnevin) V Paul Ryan (Bay City)
69kg John Maughan (St Mary’s Dublin) V John Hynes (Ballyduff)

Saturday August 20th
Q/Finals (10am)
52kg Conor Quinn (Clonard) V Craig Kavanagh (Crumlin)
52kg Jimmy McCarthy (Marble City) V Jordan Halpin (St Pauls Wat)
60kg Ciaron Flynn (St Marys Daingean) V Winner
60kg Winner V Winner
64kg Bryan McNamee (Convoy) V Gabriel Dossan (Olympic)
64kg Jason Harty (Rathkeale) V Peter Cawley (Dungarvan)
64kg Matthew Davis (Ardagh/Cross) V Colm Quinn (Castlebar)
64kg Winner V Winner
69kg Winner V Winner
69kg Winner V Winner
81kg Reece Morris (Dublin Docklands) V Brian Elliot (Illies GG)
81kg Brian Kennedy (St Marys Daingean) V Jimmy O’Reilly (Portlaoise)

Friday August 26th
S/Finals (7:30pm)
49kg Jordan Moore (Glasnevin) V Liam Glennon (St Josephs Derry)
56kg Winner V Winner
56kg Winner V Winner
64kg Winner V Winner
64kg Winner V Winner
75kg George Bodor (Bay City) V Michael Nevin (Portloise)
81kg Christopher O’Reilly (Bracken) V Cathal Griffin (Conamara)
81kg Winner V Winner
91kg Paul McCullaugh (St John Bosco) V Colin Cronin (Carrick on Suir)
91+kg Oran Hennessy (St Colmans) V Frank Carr (Ballinrobe)
91+kg Kevin Sheehy (St Francis) V Martin John Mongan (Ennis)

August 27th
Finals (12pm)
46kg John Moran (Illies GG) W/O
49kg Conor McCourt (Clonard V Winner
52kg Winner V Winner
56kg Winner V Winner
60kg Winner V Winner
64kg Winner V Winner
69kg Winner V Winner
75kg Jason Clancy (Ballinacarrow) V Winner
81kg Winner V Winner
91kg Martin Jim Mongan (Ennis) V Winner
91+kg Winner V Winner

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: