The Connacht boxing championships for the 14 - 16 age group was held in Westport last weekend. Loughrea boxing club had five boxers competing with mixed results. The big upset of the championships came in the Boy 4 57Kg division, when Loughrea's Ryan Dervan beat reigning All-Ireland champion Patrick Ward from the Gurteen club in Sligo. Ward was hot favourite to progress to the All-Irelands but was never able to match Dervan's craft and power. The winning margin of 11 - 2 was a fair reflection of Dervan's dominance.
In the Y2 66Kg division Matthew Connelly was pitted against the Mayo champion Fergus McDonnell from the Geesala club at the semi- final stage. Connelly won on a score of 5 - 3 in this technical contest. In the final he was up against the taller southpaw Liam Conlon from the Castlebar club. Once again this was a close battle with Connelly getting the nod on 3 - 2 verdict of the judges.
Conall Whelan had two tough battles in the Y1 63Kg division. In the semi-final against the Mayo champion Brandon Peak Ballyhaunis, he had to survive a standing count and a low blow in the first round and was lucky to be only three points behind at the end of the round. Whelan boxed clever in the last two rounds and won by three points. He met Eamonn Tighe, Ballymote in the final but could not cope with the awkward southpaw style and lost on a points decision.
Ted Mongan in the Y1 66Kg division had a great semi-final win over Sean Maughan Kilmaine dominating from the start and proving too strong over the three rounds. In the final he met his old adversary Willie Barrett from the Olympic club but Mongan could not pin his elusive opponent and lost on a points decision.
Padraic Flanagan, in his first year boxing, lost his semi-final bout to Dale McCarthy Kilmaine despite suffering all week with flu. Padraic is one for the future.
Dervan and Connelly will represent Connacht at the National Stadium, Dublin this weekend for the All-Ireland championships. Both lads can match the best from the other provinces if they perform to their best.