Ben Teeling is proof you should never give up on your dreams.
The Holy Family Louth fighter finally got over the Irish title line when he won the National Seniors at 71kg last Saturday.
It was a success that came after a lot of heartbreak, with Teeling entering national competition since the age of 11 without coming away with a coveted crown.
That disappointment accumulated over 15 years made the title win all the sweeter – and speaking to Irish-boxing.com after the win he revealed he was delighted he kept fighting to achieve his dream.
“It means a lot,” he said. “I’ve been training since I was 11 for this, it’s my first Irish title and I’m 26. I never gave up and I have it now.”
The coaches in Holy Family believe Teeling is one of Ireland’s unluckiest amateur boxers, claiming he has never got the rub of the green when it came to draws and decisions.
The fighter himself doesn’t use misfortune as an excuse. The new 71kg champion believes he has just hit a level of maturity that now allows him to perform in the famous National Stadium ring.
“I’ve come up short lots of times, which was my own fault,” he said.
“I’ve matured and this time I said ‘I’ll knuckled down and do it right’. I was coming into the Stadium and not performing. I was training my heart out and then not performing in the ring. My coach says I’ve been unlucky sometimes but it was up to me to change that ‘luck’. I was a late maturer inside the ring and outside the ring. It all came together eventually, thankfully.”
Teeling will be back at the Stadium hunting down another title next week having entered the National Elite Championships at 67kg.
“I’ll give it a good go. Like these Championships I’ll knuckle down and give it 100 percent.”