Tactical switch pays dividends for Dylan Duffy

It was a different Dylan Duffy at the National Stadium on Friday night.

The Downpatrick lightweight defeated Martin Sammon of the Olympic club in Galway to claim the National Under-22 title, completely altering his fighting style to due so.

At the National Senior (Intermediate) final back in November, Duffy boxed off the back foot against another Olympic BC fighter, the big-hitting Frankie Cleary. There he was defeated but, against Sammon, Duffy went from matador to bull, and was the aggressor in a cagey contest, taking a competitive unanimous decision win.

The Pegasus ABC fighter spoke to Irish-Boxing.com following the win, and noted how “it wasn’t my usual style, normally I go backwards and try and counter punch, but the opponent fought like I would usually fight. I thought if I pressured him and try to counter punch on the front foot it would work, and thankfully I prevailed. It was a good fight, he was a tough, tricky opponent.”

It was a clever tactical switch from 20 year old Duffy and his team, who had done their homework and came up with a gameplan to take the slick Sammon by surprise.

The Ulster boxer described how “I saw him box last week and I said ‘there’s no way that this guy is going to come forward especially given my style’ – because he got to watch my fight after. I knew that he was going to try and box to his strengths. I think the fact that he watched me last week boxing on the back foot meant that he was unprepared for me coming forward.”

Duffy is now solely eyeing the European Under-22 Championships in Romania in March, and will not feature in the Elite Seniors which begin this weekend.

He outlined how “the European thing is probably first priority now, given this title. Another couple of months and I’ll grow into 60kg again.”

“I’m still relatively new at 60kg. I think another maybe year, I’ll be 21, sparring all the older fellas, I’ll grow into the Elite weight.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

Eric Donovan joins Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill on Episode 2 of the Irish Boxing Show:

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie