Boxing: Underdog tag suits Moylette just fine
IRISH amateur boxing is in such rude health that even our world champions believe they are underdogs.
World youth champion Ray Moylette has insisted that reigning light welter champion Philip Sutcliffe is the favourite ahead of their Elite Championships 64kg semi-final at the National Stadium tonight.
Six title holders -- Sutcliffe, Eric Donovan, Willie McLaughlin, Darren O'Neill, Ken Egan and Con Sheehan -- will be involved in last-four duels.
Egan meets Grangecon clubman Denis Hogan -- an opponent he has beaten twice in the last 12 months -- as he continues his quest to win an historic tenth Irish senior title in a row.
Moylette, from the St Anne's club in Westport, has admitted that Sutcliffe, of the Crumlin BC, will be a tough proposition.
The Dubliner was involved in the bout that lit the fuse under the championships last weekend, an all-out war of attrition with Niall Murray which was in the balance all the way down to the final bell.
Nineteen-year-old Moylette, who claimed his world title in Mexico in 2008, says that he will box differently than Murray and reckons that, if it goes to points, his will be the hand raised in victory.
He said: "I'm the underdog going into the semi-final. I've won nothing for a year and all the pressure will be on Philip to win as he's the current champion. That suits me fine.
"I only saw a bit of his bout last weekend, but from what I saw they were really going at each other hammer and tongs.
"However, I'll fight differently than Niall Murray and I won't be coming forward so much.
"Philip will probably go for a stoppage, but if it goes to points I believe that I will be ahead when the final bell sounds. It promises to be a great contest."
Meanwhile, Beijing Olympian John Joe Joyce and 2007 European Union champ, Roy Sheahan, both of the St Michael's, Athy club, have presented IABA president Dominic O'Rourke with a dilemma.
O'Rourke is also coach at St Michael's and usually works their corners. However, he says that he'll be sitting this one out and is looking forward to what he predicts will be an intriguing duel between two world-class boxers.
European Union featherweight champ David Oliver Joyce, also of St Michael's, will also be involved in lastfour action against 2008 European Championships bronze medalist Ross Hickey.
Another potentially explosive encounter will see Belfast's Eamon O'Kane, also a 2008 European bronze medalist, and European Youth gold medalist Jason Quigley, from the Finn Valley club in Donegal, meet at middleweight.
Two elite women's semi-finals will be decided over the weekend, along with the Novice Championships quarter-finals. The championships conclude next weekend.