Big punching Clair takes first senior title

She is shaping up to be Kilkenny’s version of the great Katie Taylor, and at the national Elite senior boxing ladies championship finals Callan’s finest Clair Grace struck gold at the first attempt.

She is shaping up to be Kilkenny’s version of the great Katie Taylor, and at the national Elite senior boxing ladies championship finals Callan’s finest Clair Grace struck gold at the first attempt.

The big hitting 18-year-old forced her more experienced opponent to take two standing counts, and but for the intervention of the bell at the end of the first round it could have been all over.

Clair Grace won the welterweight (69 kgs) division at the Elite championship finals in the National Stadium, Dublin, at the weekend to underline her growing reputation as a boxer of rich promise. The beaten finalist was Patricia Roddy from Bray boxing club.

“It was magic,” gushed Clair’s proud trainer, Jimmy Walsh from Callan. “Her accuracy and punching power were spot on. It was one of Clair’s best performances ever.”

The Kilkenny girl was a comprehensive winner over the four rounds. She eventually won 15-7 after leading 5-2, 8-3 and 12-5 at the end of the preceding rounds.

Clair, who is studying for her Leaving Certificate at Scoil Mhuire, Carrick-on-Suir, has been called into the Irish team for a full international against a Dutch team in Dublin in March.