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Three time Canadian National Champion Sara Haghighat hoping to for National Elite succees

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The celebrations will be heard as far away as Canada if Sara Haghighat manages to secure victory in the National Stadium tonight.

Not because the St Brigid’s fighter brings a massively vocal and boisterous crowd, rather the 54kg finalist hails from Vancouver and her people are bound to be happy.

The 25-year-old probably boast the most unique back story of all 34 of tonight’s finalists.

The three-time Canadian National champ relocated to Ireland to fulfil an Olympic dream and now finds herself fighting for her first Irish title.

“So I was on the Canadian National Team, I am three time National Champion there and now I am trying fight for Ireland,” she explained to before filling in some more blanks.

“My husband is Irish, so I am getting my citizenship, I live here, I train out of St Brigid’s Edenderry and I am trying to get on the Irish team.”

“There are a lot of politics with Canada, look I know politics are everywhere, but I do think in general Ireland has a better team in terms of the set up. I feel I will get better here and I think I can achieve my Olympic dream. So for that reason alone I have to go to Europe because boxing is better now.”

Talk of the Olympics may seem strange considering Haghighat is competing at a non Olympic weight at present.

However, she explains she is targeting representing Ireland in Paris 2024 and will adjust weight when the time is right.

“I am 54kgs for now. When I get my residency then I will look to move to an Olympic weight class. I am looking toward Paris. My goal from the get go was 2024. I think that is when I will be hitting my peak. I think most people do it through two Olympic cycles.”

Before an Olympic dream can be pursued some Irish titles will have to be won.

Haghighat is hoping the first will be banked tonight as she takes on fellow first time National Elite Championships finalist Zara Breslin of Tramore.

The experienced Canadian doesn’t seem overly worried as to what the Intermediate champion has to offer, preferring to focus on her self, but she has taken time to study the Irish judging system.

“It’s not what I am used to. I have to learn how things are scored here, it’s completely different to how the Americas would score things,” she adds before talking about the final.

“It will be an accomplishment to win it. It’s really cool to be here. I have never even been in this venue before tonight and it would be great to have success here. I am going to focus on myself and I hope it’s a good fight for people to watch.”


Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: