WINNERS: The Smackwear Irish-Boxing.com Awards 2018


After almost two weeks of voting and thousands of votes, we finally have our winners of the 2018 Irish-Boxing.com Awards in association with Smackwear.ie

Lots of categories were extremely tight and debates were rife in Irish boxing circles but we think the votes speak largely for themselves.

Before going on, we must first offer huge thanks to Pat White of Smackwear.ie whose help has been massive in reviving the awards following a year off.

So, without further ado, below are the 15 winners – congratulations to all, may they and absolutely everyone in Irish boxing have a very happy New Year!

The Rinty Monaghan Fighter of the Year
In association with Liffey Crane Hire

Katie Taylor

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The Wicklow lightweight unified in April, defeating Victoria Noelia Bustos to add the IBF belt to the WBA strap won last year. Since then she would make three successful defences versus Kimberley Connor, Cindy Serrano, and Eva Wahlstrom, as her star continues to skyrocket in America.

The John Duddy Fight of the Year

Karl Kelly v Martin Quinn

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A six-round brawl on the ‘Celtic Clash 7’ card that had everything. Many had the more experienced Kelly a favourite going in but Crumlin’s Quinn impressed with his boxing skills early on. Monkstown’s Kelly, though, never gave up and did damage in the third especially before a 58-57 final scorecard in his favour that lad to chaotic scenes. Such drama!

The Andy Lee KO of the Year

Padraig McCrory (v Manny Bique)

The Eamonn Magee Jr Prospect of the Year
In association with Dublin Plumbing & Gas

Victor Rabei

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The Ratmichael light welterweight has come so far in 2018. First defeating Mark Morris in an early All-Irish scrap, Rabei would go on to defeat Karl Kelly in an entertaining war on ‘Celtic Clash 6’ to win the BUI Celtic title before scoring a one-round KO live on TG4 to boost his profile massively.

Moment of the Year

Kelly Harrington Wins World Gold

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Last month the Dublin lightweight went where few Irish sportspeople have ever gone when, following over a week of top quality performances, she was crowned world champion in New Delhi amidst joyous scenes. Hard to beat.

The Wayne McCullough Performance of the Year

TJ Doheny

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Who else could win an award named in honour of ‘The Pocket Rocket’ other than the Irishman who emulated him in Japan over 20 years later? Doheny dethroned IBF 122lbs champion Ryosuke Iwasa in Tokyo in fantastic fashion, out-boxing, out-fighting, and out-thinking the reigning champ to take the title.

Breakthrough of the Year

Kieran Molloy

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It may be one of Ireland’s hottest divisions but Molloy made sure that he is the welterweight to beat as the Tokyo cycle heats up. The Galway fighter claimed an Elite title at the first time of asking in February and a major medal in his first tournament last month when he took bronze at the EU Championships.

Club of the Year

Holy Trinity Boxing Club

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The massive West Belfast outfit have enjoyed a big year with Irish titles for Daniel Owens, Diarmuid Bradley, Kyle Smith, and Jude Molyneaux. Jon McConnell also took a title as well as bronze at the European Schoolboys while Caoimhin Agyarko won the Elite 81kg crown on short notice.

The Freddie Gilroy Young Boxer of the Year

Jude Gallagher

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In his first year at Youth level, the Tyrone talent from the Two Castles club claimed three Irish titles at home alongside sensational bronzes at both the European Youths and the World Youths where he was Ireland’s only medallist.

The Micky Ward Round of the Year

Ray Moylette v Christian Uruzquieta (Round 5)

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Three minutes that nearly took the roof off the Royal Theatre in Castlebar. Moylette was downed heavily twice but was roared back to his feet by the partisan crowd and showed incredible grit and no little skill to see out the round.

The Patrick Hyland Sr Trainer of the Year

Eddie Hyland

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The Jobstown coach claims the prize named in honour of his late father following a great year where he led Carl McDonald to two domestic titles as well as continuing the development of a number of prospects.

Comeback of the Year

Roy Sheahan

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Four years out of the sport, the Athy middleweight further proved why Andy Lee calls him the most talented fighter in the country by turning pro and claiming the Ireland’s Last Man Standing crown in sensational fashion, beating Vladimir Belujsky, JJ McDonagh, and Jack Cullen.

The Alejandro González Jr Opponent of the Year

Nonito Donaire

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The Filipino legend proved himself to be a gentleman outside of the ring and a warrior inside it in fights with Belfast’s Carl Frampton and Ryan Burnett. We wish him all the best in the semi-finals of the World Boxing Super Series and hope to maybe see him back in Ireland soon.

The Sean Mannion Gallant Defeat of the Year

Ray Moylette

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The Mayo lightweight had no right to get up from those two fifth round knockdowns versus Christian Uruzquieta but, with the backing of a crazy Castlebar crowd, he did and would push the Mexican hard down the stretch.

Pro Debut of the Year

Eddie Treacy

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The Bray light middleweight saw numerous date and opponent changes but managed to stay focused before blasting out Ignasi Caballero inside 30 seconds with what was the quickest Irish boxing knockout of the year.

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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: [email protected]