Whilst Katie Taylor’s gold at the Olympics naturally and deservedly got all the media and public attention this month, let us not overlook the fine performance of Cavan BC’s Ceire Smith.
Currently ranked number 42 in the World by AIBA – a position that looks sure to be upgraded when her impressive performances at the 2012 AIBA World Women’s Championships in China are taken in account – who added another gold medal to her collection at the 12th Ringside World Championships in Kansas City, USA earlier in the month.
The Cavan BC – which numbers London 2012 Silver medallist John Joe Nevin among its boxers – has always been in the forefront of ensuring that Irish club boxers gain valuable international experience which of course is the only way that up and coming stars, be they male or female, can hope to win major tournaments later in their careers.
There are indeed several others Irish clubs whose fund raising efforts are also excellent and hopefully with the Gold medal success of Taylor and Nevin’s silver,as well as bronze medals for Barnes and Conlan let us hope that the IABA will actively pursue commercial agreements with sponsors to ensure that that success continues. The High Performance Unit can only do so much at the National Stadium. More on that subject on another occasion.
This report from the 12th Ringside World championships comes courtesy of the IABA . “The Cavan BC flyweight, who was eliminated from the AIBA World Women’s Championships at the last-16 stage by Poland’s Karolina Michalczuk, who is currently ranked number 5 in the World by AIBA and who was beaten by India’s five-time AIBA World champion Chungneijang Mary Kom at the 2012 Olympics, went all the way at the KC Expo Centre in Kansas and claimed the 51kg belt in the Elite Women’s Open.
The victory from the ranking tournament was the Irish Elite champion’s third international gold medal win in the last 12 months.
Cavan BC coach Brian McKeown took a six-strong team to Kansas and the entire squad – with the obvious exception of eventual champion Smith – were only beaten by eventual gold medallists.
Martin Reilly and Daria Lach, boxing in the men’s and women’s weight flyweight classes, took home bronze, while bantamweight Michaela Jannick produced some fantastic performances en route to silver.
Shauna Flynn (Inniskeen) and Dominic Donegan (Cootehill) also claimed bronze.
The total medal haul for the six-strong squad – a haul which Brian McKeown described as fantastic – was one gold, one silver and four bronze.
The Elite Female 112lbs Open in Kansas saw Smith add another significant title to her growing C.V. when she recorded a couple of impressive wins en route to lifting the title.
The semi-final was a tough and hard fought affair with Taveera Kum from Kitchener, Ontario, with Smith sealing an impressive unanimous decision after dropping the Canadian in the final round.
The final drew the largest crowd of the afternoon to Ring 4 to see the Cavan girl square up to U.S. rep Maryqueen Vellinga from Salt Lake City. Smith provided the best performance of the day in this contest.
Unlike many U.S. boxers, 30-year-old Vellinga came to box and proved the ideal foil for the teenage southpaw from Redhills,outside Cavan town. Smith gave her experienced foe two counts in the opener and another two in the following round to force the referees intervention.
Jannick was competing in the 117lbs Senior Novice class and looked unlucky to drop a majority to Nicole Peesakumar from the U.S.
The Killashandra ace impressed with good victories over Britney Vermitte from Chicago and Beriere Macias from Texas to set up the Peesakumar clash.
The other four members of the team all won twice before being eliminated by the eventual champions, with Inniskeen’s 17-year-old Shauna Flynn being denied victory by a highly controversial majority call in the semi-final.
A lost gum shield and an ill-fitting replacement may well have cost Daria Lach a title in the 112lbs Senior Novice class.
The mouthpiece was dislodged twice in a contest she appeared to be controlling and it was the resulting public warnings that cost her victory over the eventual champion.
All four girls are regular participants at High Performance training sessions in Dundalk.
The performances of Enniskillen’s Martin Reilly and Cootehill’s Dominic Donegan cannot be underestimated as both won twice to make the semis,Reilly at 112 open Youth and Donegan at 152 Senior Novice.
The Cavan BC have been competing at the Ringside World Championships since 2007.
The club have been to four international tournaments in the USA, Canada and Sweden (twice) this year and have secured medals from each outing.
The Ringside World Championships in Kansas proudly boasts that it is the biggest tournament of its kind in the world. Over 1,500 boxers entered the 2012 edition in the Sunflower State.”