Top teen pro returns to amateur boxing before making debut

Owen McDonagh has decided against embarking on a pro career and will now return to the amateur game.

The Cork super fly was unveiled as a new signing for Boxing Ireland Promotions last November but, before his pro debut, has elected to return to the vest.

Turning pro aged 18 with no Senior amateur experience, McDonagh’s switch raised some eyebrows and, with time on his side, the young Rebel is going to look to develop further.

Explaining his decision on social media, McDonagh said that “I feel like since I turned pro I could have done a lot more in the amateurs so I’m coming to take it all back.”

A multi-time national champion in the underage ranks as well as an Irish International, the Leeside Lough fighter will strengthen the 52kg ranks going forward.

McDonagh is one of a number of Irish fighters in recent times to return from pro to the amateurs.

Most notably, Regan Buckley [2(0)-0] switched back and won the Irish U22, Elite, and Intervarsity light flyweight titles across a matter of weeks. His Bray team-mate James Cahill [2(0)-0] has also stated his intention to pick back up the vest as has Maynooth’s Carlos Lmuala [1(0)-0] – while Declan Trainor [2(2)-1(1)] looked to go back amateur before reiterating a pro desire.

Boxing Ireland Promotions have wished McDonagh well on his return.

The outfit are currently preparing for ‘Celtic Clash 8’ at the Devenish Venue in Belfast.


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: