Cork boxers O’Keeffe and Faulkner claim two national titles in Dublin

Cork boxers O’Keeffe and Faulkner claim two national titles in Dublin
Cork boxers Michael Faulkner, Michael O'Brien, Cork County Board, Leanne Murphy and Katie O'Keeffe.

CORK’S young prospects claimed two Irish titles at the National Senior Cadet Championships at Dublin’s National Stadium this weekend.

Two-time European Schoolgirl medallist Katie O’Keeffe had her hand raised in victory on Friday night at the home of Irish boxing.

The Kanturk BC light-fly beat Donegal’s Carleigh Irving on a 3-2 split decision to secure 48kg gold.

Michael Faulkner finished on top of the flyweight podium on Friday evening following an impressive unanimous decision over the Wexford teen with the iconic boxing name, Jack Dempsey.

But Faulkner’s Togher BC team-mate James O’Reilly lost out on a unanimous decision to Tipp bantam Raymond Joyce after a competitive 54kg three-rounder.

Leeside Lough BC light-middle Martin Keenan and Muskery BC light-heavy Dylan Bradley were beaten on split and unanimous verdicts by Dubliners Joshua Olaniyan and Joe Hutchinson in Saturday’s 70kg and 80kg deciders.

Michael O’Brien, president of the Cork board, hailed the performances of all Leeside boxers at the tournament which took 211 bouts to complete over the last four weekends.

“Congratulations to Katie and Michael on magnificent performances against quality opposition and well done also to our boxers, clubs, coaches, and staff on reaching their finals in Dublin and throughout the tournament,” he said.

The weekend’s haul improves Cork boxing to four Irish titles this year as Leanne Murphy (Togher BC) and Patrick Lawlor (Brian Dillon’s BC) claimed light-welter and middleweight belts at the National U18s at the Stadium last month.

Technically, the haul is five as Macroom welter Christina Desmond (Fr Horgan’s BC) secured her second Elite belt of the year in November.

The IABA ran the National Elites twice last year to facilitate Ireland’s boxers going into the European qualifiers for Tokyo 2020 in London in March and November’s Elite Championships would have been run this year.

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