Marble City boxing club members were busy of late with one of their young stars, Kevin Kehoe, this year’s Leinster champion, involved in the National Cadet championships in the National Stadium.
With all the hard work done, and with outstanding performances in all competitions, this was what it all came down to, the chance to earn the right to represent Ireland in the European Championships in Russia in October. Kevin’s first opponent in the semi-finals was Jimmy O’Reilly (Portlaoise) in the 63kgs divisison. O’Reilly is a seasoned opponent with a good style.
O’Really came into his own in this bout, with great movement and he picked his shots with great accuracy. He showed good control from the first bell. He was dominant and determined throughout and won 13-3.
Kevin’s next opponent was a previous national champion, Connor Vint of Gilford boxing club, Ulster. Kevin knew this was to be no easy bout. Connor also had an impressive semi-final win. With both boxers south paws, this turned into an exciting spectacle.
The winr was destined for the Europeans and the loser would have to wait for next season. When the bell sounded both showed no sign of nerves as they took to the centre of the ring. Both showed great defensive work and movement and at the end of the first round the score was 1-1.
When the next bell rang Kevin knew he had to dig deep to put his opponent on the back foot. Again both showed why they are undoubtedly the best in their division by producing another tight round. Kevin edging ahead, 3-2.
With Kehoe knowing that he was slightly ahead he also knew he needed to once again dig deep. He took to the centre of the ring like a man possessed, working the ring like a seasoned pro to produce some outstanding scores.
The Marble City lad continued like this for the duration of the round. At the final bell his corner (Ross Kehoe and Willie John Kehoe) showed no sign of nerves as they waited for the scores to be read out.
Finally the referee called both boxers to the centre of the ring and raised Kevin Kehoe’s hand. The final score was 7-3. After such a long and rigorous season all the hard work paid off for a rich young talent.
Now it will all start again in preparation for the test in Russia. Kevin Kehoe is the first boxer from the Marble City club to represent Ireland in the the European Championships. As this year is the club’s 20th anniversary, it was a great way to mark the occasion.