Bantry boxer misses out on All-Ireland title by split decision

April 25th, 2023 6:30 PM

By Southern Star Team

Bantry ABC's Con Desmond, left, runner-up in the Boy 3 59kg category, with All-Ireland champion Kalem Kelly of the Baldoyle ABC, Dublin.

Share this article

MUNSTER boxing champion Con Desmond agonisingly missed out on an All-Ireland title on a split decision.

The Bantry ABC boxer competed in this year’s All-Ireland National Boxing Championships, in the Boy 3 (13-year-old) 59kg category, which were held at the home of Irish boxing, the world famous National Boxing Stadium in Dublin, during Easter week.

Con received a bye into the semi-finals when the draw was held, which meant he did not have to box on the Tuesday quarter-final sessions.

Con’s semi-final was held on Thursday afternoon where he faced the Connacht champion John McDonagh of the Galway City ABC. 

A tough encounter saw the Bantry teen box well within himself to book his place in Saturday's All-Ireland final, having received the points verdict from the judges.

The final took place in an electric atmosphere on Saturday night at the National Stadium, with a huge crowd in attendance. Con’s opponent for the final was the tough Leinster champion Kalem Kelly of the Baldoyle ABC, Dublin.

A close opening round saw both boys landing big shots with no quarter asked nor given. Con pressed the issue and closed the distance between the boxers on multiple occasions, landing with both hands. His opponent was equally effective with his aggressive counter-punching style and there was very little to separate the two boys after the first round.

The second round saw Con come on strong, once again landing some big shots, but his opponent refused to let him have it all his own way and landed some great shots of his own. But it looked like the Bantry boxer had done just about enough to take the round.

Round three followed a similar pattern with both boys landing plenty of punches as they vied to become Irish champion. They were now showing signs of the massive effort that they were putting in as they fought to the finish and gave it everything they had in the hope of having their hand raised in victory, but it looked like the Leinster champion had done just about enough to take this round.

It seemed that the first round would decide this one as it looked like both Con and Kalem Kelly had shared a round each after that, and this is how it turned out when, after a tense wait, the judges returned their scores for the official decision to be announced. 

There was hushed silence in the crowd as the verdict was announced, and it was the Leinster champion Kelly who had his hand raised in victory as he received a split-decision victory from the judges after one of the contests of the championships.

This was Con’s second All-Ireland final in a row and he could not have been closer to winning his first Irish title after an epic encounter between two top-class boxers. It looks like it will only be a matter of time before this talented West Cork youngster has his day in the sun.

Share this article


to our mailing list for the latest news and sport:

Thank You!

You have successfully been subscribed to SouthernStar newsletter!

Form submitting... Thank you for waiting.