Hard-hitting Lavery claims Leinster title
Tredagh Boxing Club's Patrick Lavery claimed a notable scalp when beating last year's champion to capture the Leinster Senior heavyweight title.
The championships were held at the National Stadium over the past week and there was plenty of optimism in the Tredagh camp.
'Rico Right Hook' Lavery had been working hard over the previous months, training in the club, travelling around the province for sparring and putting in his own training in 'The Fitness Room' gym in Dunleer which he runs.
In the final Lavery was pitted against the formidable defending champion Aidan O'Neill from the famous Paulstown club in Kilkenny. Aidan is the brother of Olympian Darren O'Neill and although it was the last bout of the night the crowd stayed to view this enthralling encounter.
In the first round Lavery made his intentions clear from the bell as he connected with some straight-handed combinations, ending in hooks to the head and body. Both men 'loaded up' and exchanged heavy blows in the centre of the ring as they sought to stamp their authority on the fight. O'Neill had successes while counter punching and Lavery ripped some hard power shots to the body and head of O'Neill which certainly affected his rhythm.
Round two proved a more tactical battle as O'Neill pressed forward and Lavery propelled his speedy hands to catch O'Neill with some blistering combinations, incorporating a variety of hooks and close-range uppercuts.
O'Neill rolled under Lavery's left hook to counter-punch at times, but as the round progressed the Tredagh boxer stamped his authority with his right hook to hurt the Kilkenny man.
Those hard-hitting right hooks had Darren O'Neill off his seat at times to encourage his brother to up his game, but it was Lavery who finished the round with the cleaner, heavier shots.
Going into the third round the Tredagh corner felt Lavery had won the first two rounds, but with the first being close the last round was important to decide the outcome of the championship title.
With the knowledge of needing to turn the contest around, O'Neill pressed forward in a bid to retain his title, but Lavery moved into a different gear in this round as he found his range, perfectly landing some impressive fast combinations to the oncoming O'Neill.
The middle part of the round saw O'Neill wanting to box at close range to the body, and Lavery obliged and landed the faster, more powerful shots.
In the final moments an increasingly desperate O'Neill powered forward looking for a knockout blow, but Lavery kept him at range, turning and counter-punching with the right hook to continue totting up the points to the final bell.
The final decision was a 4-1 majority verdict in favour of Lavery, although the Tredagh corner were surprised it wasn't a unanimous decision. Nevertheless, this is his first Leinster Senior title - testimony to the hard work ethic he has portrayed - and he will now enter the upcoming All-Ireland Senior Championships in high spirits.
Other members of Tredagh BC have been busy training on a regular basis at their new premises at An Grianan, Termonfeckin, and travelling to clubs in Dublin, Meath and Dundalk for sparring. Training is on three times a week and the club caters for boxers from eight years old up to Senior level, with new members welcome. For further details contact 087-9944799.
•St Cianan's BC held their first club show of the new season last weekend and they'd like to thank the Ardee and Holy Family clubs for providing some tough opposition on the day.
St Cianan's would like to thank Stephen McKee for doing the medal presentations and his kind donations, the family and friends that supported the kids on the day, the club's main sponsors Blacktop Tarmacadam, coach Thomas Brodigan and Mary Kelly for helping out, and the committee members and backroom staff for their continued support.