First female Irish champion for Derry's Oakleaf ABC!

Oakleaf ABC's first ever female Irish champion Carleigh Irving, celebrates in Dublin with her coaches.Oakleaf ABC's first ever female Irish champion Carleigh Irving, celebrates in Dublin with her coaches.
Oakleaf ABC's first ever female Irish champion Carleigh Irving, celebrates in Dublin with her coaches.
​Local boxer Carleigh Irving made history at the weekend by becoming Oakleaf ABC’s first ever national female champion after defeating European medalist, Sophie Gray, in Dublin.

It may have taken 31 years but the U18 48kg champion ensured it was worth the wait as club coach, Eugene O'Kane, heaped praise on the remarkable 17-years old who bounced back from three previous Irish final defeats to finally secure a richly deserved victory.

After the disappointment of those three previous finals, Irving responded by upping, her roadwork, strength and conditioning and sparring schedule and her dedication paid off in style.

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Irving's semi final opponent was current Irish champion and European medalist, Georgia McGovern (Setenta), who had defeated the Derry boxer in two Irish finals. This time, after three enthralling rounds, it was the Oakleaf boxer's hand raised to record a brilliant and deserved points win.

Her final opponent, Gray (Delgan) was another European medalist but once again Irving's work rate proved too much for the Co. Louth boxer. A remarkable turnaround in fortunes and all down to the Oakleaf boxer’s preparation for these championships.

There was no joy for Oakleaf’s Jack Harkin and Bernie Stokes. Stokes was very unlucky in his semi final against Ryan Jenkins (Olympic Mullingar), losing out to a highly disputed 3-2 split decision with Jenkin’s going on to lift the title.

Following her Championship win, Irving was selected to represent Ireland at 48kg in a Four Nation round robin tournament in Italy from March 14th to 20th.

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