Saturday 23 March 2019

Dossen ditches crutches to book place in Elite final


Gabriel Dossen showed some fancy footwork in the Elite Championships semi-finals. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
Gabriel Dossen showed some fancy footwork in the Elite Championships semi-finals. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Bernard O'Neill

For a man who was hobbling around on crutches a few days earlier, Gabriel Dossen (right) certainly showed some fancy footwork in the Elite Championships semi-finals at Dublin's National Stadium on Saturday night.

The Galway middleweight beat Derry's 2018 finalist Brett McGinty on a unanimous decision to book his ticket into next Saturday's 75kg decider versus Dublin's Emmett Brennan, who beat Fergal Quinn.

Dossen's coach, Mike Mongan, explained that the World Youth medallist twisted his right knee in a freak incident in sparring at the Olympic BC, but that he bounced back on Saturday.

Dossen, who defeated defending champion Michael Nevin in the last eight, reckons he boxed very well under the circumstances.

"I thought my performance was very good for someone that was on crutches and told three days prior to the fight that I wasn't going to be able," he said.

"My plan is to do what I do best and that's my movement and clean long scores. Those skills are what's got me here. Really excited to go out there and put in a show."

Limerick welter Paddy Donovan edged Antrim's Aidan Walsh on a 3-2 split decision on Saturday and will meet Galway's defending champion Kieran Molloy for the 69kg crown.

"It's going to be a great matchup (versus Molloy), southpaw versus southpaw," said Donovan. "I knew tonight was going to be a tricky fight. Everyone wanted to avoid him. He's tall, awkward and has brilliant movement."

Meanwhile, the hand of history and a proud family legacy will be on Tommy Hyde's shoulders when he steps into the ring on Elite finals night. Hyde, who boxes out of the Mayfield BC, beat Belfast's Paul McCullough on a nailbiting 3-2 split decision to reach his first Elite final.

The stylish Cork light heavy meets Galway's Thomas O'Toole - who beat David Bicevis - for the vacant 81kg belt live on TG4.


Almost three-quarters of a century ago, Hyde's great grand uncle, also Tommy Hyde, beat Billy O'Mahony on points in the welterweight finals on February 23, 1946, to claim an Elite welter belt.

Seventy-three years later, Hyde junior will fight for Elite gold under the same roof on February 23, and he's confident he's going to do the business.

"Looking forward to next weekend now, 73 years to the day since my grand uncle won the title," he said.

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