GERARD Whitehouse made a successful transition from youth to adult when winning the Leinster Intermediate Championship in the 67kg division the week before last.
Coach Kieran O'Neill had been hesitant in throwing the talented Bracken teenager into the ring for a tournament that is open to 17 to 34-year-olds, but Whitehouse came up with all the answers as he made a hugely impressive start to his adult career. Enjoying his first taste of threeminute rounds, Whitehouse (17) overcame Baldoyle's Pat Cawley in the first round on a 12-6 scoreline and that set up a decider with 27-year-old Owen Condron from the St Saviours club.
The Bracken ace made a tentative start, not surprising in the circumstances, and he had it all to do in the final round, at the start of which he trailed 12-8. However, in a storming finish Whitehouse came through on a 19-17 scoreline. O'Neill enthused: 'It's a massive win for Gerard. He was the youngest winner on the night and the youngest from Bracken to win a Leinster Intermediate title in 20 years, since yours truly won when I was a bantamweight. But when I won the Intermediate was for 17 to 25-year-olds, so it doesn't stand up to Gerard's achievement. 'We will allow him to go forward to the National Inters in December, and then drop him back to his own age group where he should feel really at home. There's an open tournament for them in January.'
Another Bracken ace, 14-yearold Dylan Boylan, accepted an invitation to box on a show in Rotterdam in The Netherlands where he had Michael McLoughlin and Whitehouse looking after his corner, but the muchimproved Boylan went down narrowly on an 11-9 scoreline. Meanwhile, Bracken star Christopher O'Reilly, also 14, could be out of action until the new year as he recovers from ligament and cartilage damage to his knee, possibly scuppering plans to defend his Irish title.