Tom McDonnell Fights Through the Pain Barrier to win Irish title at FOURTH Attempt

Tom McDonnell is a battler with a never say die spirit.

The Docklands fighter fought through the pain barrier to finally realise his Irish title dream earlier this month, collecting national honours at the fourth attempt.

The Dublin teen had fallen at the final hurdle on three occasions prior to this year’s 63.5kg final and was determined not to suffer decider disappointment again.

In fact, so intent was he on securing a first Irish title, he ignored an injury and made a dream he had since he was just four years of age come true.

Speaking to after his split decision win over Cabra’s Cian Cramer the Dockland’s fighter said:

“I felt I could have performed a lot better. I done my shoulder in my last fight, I don’t know if it popped out or anything. I never got it checked, so that came against me tonight as well.”

“I boxed very sloppily at times. I could have done a lot better. But a win is a win,” he adds before suggesting this win wasn’t just a win.

“This is my fourth Irish final since I started boxing, so I’m glad to get the win today. I trained very hard for this and it’s what I wanted since I was 8 years of age. You don’t know how much this means to me, it’s unbelievable.”

There is something very Emmett Brennan about McDonnell’s succes. Just like in the Olympian’s Olympic fairy tale, the teen never gave up on his dream despite numerous setbacks – and eventually got to rejoice in success just over a week ago.

“Docklands have improved me so much, I’m only with them 4 or 5 months but my boxing has come on leaps and bounds. That’s not forgetting the club I was in [before] Bay City, I wouldn’t be the boxer I am without them”

On Emmet Brennan he adds: “He’s a big inspiration, he’s a serious fighter.”

Having finally claimed an Irish title McDonnell will now have to draw up a new goal sheet. He started to revise it in the National Stadium minutes after he was out of the ring and targeted European success in April this Spring.

“My immediate goal is to go to the European championships and try and medal out there and then try and win an elite title in a couple of years.”

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: