Two kings of the ring!
Published 15/12/2015 | 00:00
Wexford fans were celebrating on the double in the National Stadium on Friday night when Dean Walsh and Adam Nolan retained their national elite boxing championship titles with two superb displays.
Walsh was pushed to the very limits by Ray Moylette from Westport in Mayo in a titantic contest, but his consistency and craft gave him the verdict on a 2-1 split decision to claim the 64 kg. light-welterweight crown for the third year on the trot.
In doing so he became the first Wexford boxer to capture three titles in succession since his uncle, Billy, backed up two light-middleweight successes with welterweight honours in 1991.
The celebrations were temporarily put on hold as all eyes turned towards Adam Nolan who was meeting an opponent ten years his junior in Martin Stokes of Drogheda in the 69 kg. welterweight decider.
It was an emotional night for this proud son of The Ballagh, now boxing out of the Bray club, as his grandmother and number one supporter, Mrs. May Devereux of Castlebridge, had passed away on the eve of the fight.
However, he honoured her memory in the best manner possible with a 3-0 unanimous verdict to collect a tremendous fifth national elite title.
The achievements of Walsh and Nolan ensured that Wexford was one of just two counties to claim more than one of the ten championships on offer.
Antrim led the way on three after wins by Brendan Irvine, Kurt Walker and John Paul Delaney, with the remaining five titles going to Monaghan (Stephen McKenna), Laois (Michael O'Reilly), Kildare (David Oliver Joyce), Kilkenny (Darren O'Neill) and Tipperary (Dean Gardiner).
Just six of the ten winners can quality for the Olympics in Rio 2016 as four places are already filled. And while Walsh will have high hopes, Nolan's chances are remote since fellow welterweight Steven Donnelly is already part of the Irish team.