Boxing: Golden boy Paddy Gallagher handed painful lesson
Ulster Elite Championships
Paddy Gallagher will always have Delhi ... but last night it must have seemed like a galaxy away.
The Ulster Hall was a dark and foreboding place for the Commonwealth Games gold medallist as he walked into a whirlwind of leather.
William McLaughlin rubber stamped the belief that he is the number one Irish welterweight with a relentless display of clinical punching in their Ulster Elite senior final, winning 15-3.
As Gallagher solemnly walked back to his dressing room, McLaughlin said: “I’ve never been in better shape. I felt great in there — I like Paddy but I don’t think he’s a 69kg boxer.
“I thought at one point I could have stopped him but credit to him, he stayed in there. Now I’m going down to the Irish championships — this was a good warm-up.”
Gallagher’s confidence was ebbing from early in the first round as the Donegal man speared him with his potent right hand, taking a 5-0 lead.
In the second, the Belfast man’s headguard came loose and as he pointed to it McLaughlin landed a heavy blow which clearly hurt Gallagher. It seemed like an eternity before a new guard was placed on his head.
He then walked into a peach of a left hook , causing Gallagher to briefly touch down.
Having done well to see the bell, Gallagher was clinically picked off in the third. McLaughlin was rightly handed the Best Boxer award.
It proved to be a special night for Oliver Plunkett’s Tyrone
McKenna who claimed his first Ulster senior title after an enthralling duel with Holy Trinity’s Ethan Audley.
Going into the final round they were tied at 4-4 and the final three minutes served up some of the most exciting action of the night before arguably the lowest crowd in finals history.
McKenna’s right lead and straight lefts edged him ahead in the final stages as he took the light-welter title, 9-7.
“It’s very special for me. When I heard it was 4-4 I knew I had to go for it and it paid off,” said McKenna.
Another man claiming his first title was Conrad Cummings of Holy Trinity who won an untidy affair at middleweight with Alfredo Meli of Immaculata, 6-2.
In stark contrast, Holy Trinity clubmate Cathal McMonagle landed his eighth title when he forced the corner of Damien Ramsey to throw in the towel midway through the second round of their super-heavy decider.
“I thought I was getting too old but I still have it,” quipped Cathal.
52kg: Declan Milligan (St Paul’s) bt Michael Conlan (St John Bosco) 6-3.
56kg: Ryan Lindberg (Immaculata) bt Sean McComb (Holy Trinity) 9-8.
60kg: James Fryers (Immaculata) bt Mark O’Hara (Holy Trinity) 4-3.
64kg: Tyrone McKenna (Oliver Plunkett) bt Ethan Audley (Holy Trinity) 9-7.
69kg: William McLaughlin (Illies GG) bt Patrick Gallagher (Gleann) 15-3; Joanna Barclay (Holy Family) bt Caroline Connolly (Raphoe) 7-4.
75kg: Conrad Cummings (Holy Trinity) bt Alfredo Meli (Immaculata) 6-2.
81kg: Ray Ginley (Gleann) walkover.
91kg: John Sweeney (Dungloe) bt Sean Crudden (Derrylin) 18-4.
91+kg: Cathal McMonagle (Holy Trinity) bt Damien Ramsey (Ligoniel) rtd2.