No Home Comforts – McEvoy claims Irish title is as hard to win as World medal
There are no such thing as home comforts! Winning an Irish title is just as hard, if not harder, as securing a World Championship medal says Lee McEvoy.
The Dublin teen announced himself as a potential star of the future when he glided on the World Youth Championship podium via a number of impressive performances in La Nucia last November.
Having dealt with some of the best young talents the world has to offer to secure a prestigious bronze medal, the Avona light welterweight went into the 2023 National under-18 Championships fancied to win it.
He did just that, eventually finishing top of a tough 63.5 kg field, thanks to victory over Michael Sweeney, a cousin of former Irish light heavyweight title challenger of the same name, in Saturday’s decider.
However, he claims having a bronze medal on his mantlepiece had no real bearing on his latest Irish success, indeed McEvoy revealed the domestic field had as many landmines as any international landscape.
“Winning here is probably harder than winning out at the Worlds,” McEvoy explains after success on an extremely busy day at the home of Irish boxing before stressing this win was the most important of all his victories.
“This title is more important than any other title. The next one is always the most important one.”
While he claims under-18 prospects across the country are as capable of winning the domestic gong as him, he does admit he has benefited experience-wise for his World adventure – and hIs performance in the final proves as much.
McEvoy exited the World Youth Championships at the semi-final stage against a Georgian with a similar squat big punching style to Sweeneys, a style he has since worked on dealing with.
“That style there is the exact same style that I lost to at the Worlds, so to win like that just shows how much I’ve learnt and come on,” he adds before revealing High-Performance Head Coach Zaur Antia took time to share some advice with him post the win.
“He was just telling me how I should box people like the Georgian, and told me to watch the Cuban [Mario] Kindelán, he was a southpaw like myself. I’ve to work on covering up tight against smaller lads coming in and not leaning back and swinging out high. I’ve an awful habit of throwing my chin up, so I’ve to work on that.”
Photo Credit Matthew Spalding