2013 has been another great year – in the ring – for Irish boxing as we have reported here throughout the past twelve months , with some 43 medals in major International competition.
A huge achievement for a small nation and a tribute not only to its boxers but also to the great clubs and coaches throughout the land in addition to the success story that is the High Performance Coaching Unit headed by Wexford’s Billy Walsh.
One of Ireland’s many outstanding achievements in 2013 came from Geesala’s Ciara Ginty who took the AIBA World Junior Championship (60kg) crown in Bulgaria against all the odds. Her victories in Albena also earned her the AIBA Junior World Boxer of the Tournament award.
At the weekend,the prestigious United States based, WBAN organisation headed by former world no 1 pro, Sue Fox,named its female boxers of the year, amateur as well as pro and it was fitting that among the amateurs, Ciara Ginty was honoured together with Olympic Gold medallist, Claressa Shields and another U.S star, Marlen Esparza who took the Senior Elite award.
Ginty,coached by Pat McDonagh, at the Geesala club took the first ever WBAN Amateur Elite Junior of the Year award. Reacting to the news from the United States, a delighted Ciara Ginty gave this reaction :
“Wow, that is brilliant…what a great honour to get an award from the same renowned organisation that Katie Taylor has received several awards from – it is a really big thing for me and to be the first to receive the junior award is just huge”.
Ciara concluded: ” It’s really special to be mentioned in the same sentence as Katie Taylor…I love it, but I don’t want to be compared to her…she does her thing her way and I do mine my own way…we’re very different fighters I think…. but she is still one of my greatest role models…she has done so much for girls boxing and I’m proud to be part of it…”
“It’s been a busy Christmas with training and sparring in preparation for the Irish open youths, I just want to thank my club mates who trained all Christmas with me and my sparring partners and also my coach Pat McDonagh who works so hard to keep me going…hopefully I can do them all proud “.
So the end of a great year for Irish boxing and one which augurs well for the future with some particularly noteworthy performances among the women.