Tuesday 18 December 2018

Jordan joins boxing's elite

National title for Ferns teen

A jubilant Connor Jordan after Saturday’s outstanding success in the National Stadium
A jubilant Connor Jordan after Saturday’s outstanding success in the National Stadium

Brendan Furlong

Connor Jordan was among 13 new champions crowned at the Liffey Crane Hire Irish Senior Elite boxing finals in the National Stadium on Saturday night.

The St. Aidan's (Ferns) boxer defeated Ricky Nesbitt (Carrickmacross) on a split decision in the 49 kg. final.

There were only two entries at 49 kg. this year, but 19-year-old Jordan sent his supporters wild with a tremendous final performance, although they had to sit through the announcement of the split decision.

Edged out by the eventual champion, Blaine Dobbins, last year, Jordan turned on the style as he edged his way to a split decision after one of the top contests of the night.

The fleet-footed Jordan lost an Under-22 semi-final two weeks ago, but became Senior champion in a pure boxing contest against Nesbitt, just three years his senior.

Over the course of the fight little separated the two boxers, but Jordan's quickness about the ring, coupled with his accurate punching, saw him keep the Monaghan man at bay.

The victorious St. Aidan's man righly shook his head as the words 'split decision' were read out by the M.C., but he almost departed the ring, such was the celebratory leap which greeted the 'in the blue corner' announcement.

It was a marvellous night for the St. Aidan's club, for Jordan had as his trainer, Derek Thorpe, while Tommy Dwyer, better known for his hurling exploits, was also in his corner.

Jordan also had the distinction of bbeing the only Wexford boxer to take home a national title, and he can now look forward to representing his country in some of the forthcoming internationals.

It was a good weekend also for Gorey's Niall Kennedy who remains unbeaten in his professional career.

The Wicklow-based Garda took his victories to eleven when he defeated American Aaran Cheevers in Boston last week, taking a third round knockout verdict, having rocked his opponent with a string of solid punches.

Just three years into his professional career, Kennedy has won seven of his eleven bouts through the knockout route, an indication of his physical condition built up through intensive training.

Training out of the Warriors Gym under Packy Collins, it's just less than three years since made his professional debut.

Given his record to date he can look forward to a promising future.

Meanwhile, congratulations to Ballagh Boxing Club duo Aaron Kirwan-Doyle, who won the 42 kg. Junior 1 Leinster title, and Ryan Cullen, who collected 57 kg. Boy 4 provincial honours.

Unfortunately, Liam Walsh was beaten in a close split decision in the 46 kg. Junior 2 final, and James Cullen had to bow out due to illness in the semi-finals. The victors are now preparing for the All-Irelands in a few weeks' time.

We would like to wish Evan Murphy, J.P. Fielding and Evan O'Leary the very best of luck in the Boy 1, 2 and 3 Leinster championships in a few weeks' time in Kildare.

Ballagh Boxing Club would also like to thank Mark Cullen for sponsoring new tops.

Wexford People