The Wexford fighter battled the Mayo man all the way down to the final bell before earning a split decision in one of the fights of the night at the home of Irish boxing.
Meanwhile, London 2012 Olympian Adam Nolan turned his dream into reality after beating Beijing 2008 Olympian John Joe Joyce to claim his fourth belt this decade.
The Bray BC southpaw scored a unanimous decision over the St Michael’s Athy orthodox and ex European Elite bronze medallist to secure the vacant welterweight belt.
Nolan said: “I dreamt I regained the title, but I knew going in there that I had to perform to my best.”
Joyce, who was aiming for his fifth belt, lost to a slick performance from Nolan, particularly in the first round, in a repeat of the 2012 final, which Nolan also won.
Wexford-born garda Nolan detonated four big lefts in the opening frame, and while Joyce finished out the second on the front foot, Nolan closed out the third for victory.
The win had his Bray BC team-mate Katie Taylor, the current Olympic and World champion, punching the air in delight.
“You could see what it meant to him to win it. He’s trained so hard for this and he performed absolutely brilliantly over the three rounds and everyone at the club is delighted, ” said the World No. 1.
Meanwhile, London 2012 captain Darren O’Neill, a four-time middleweight champion, celebrated a high-five after edging Athlone’s Ken Okungbowa on a split decision to win his first belt at heavyweight. However both boxers were left bloodied after an accidental clash of heads in the first round.
Defending middleweight champion Michael O’Reilly made it back-to-back titles after earning a unanimous verdict over rangy Dundalk southpaw Stephen Broadhurst over three, three minutes rounds.
Antrim’s Brendan Irvine claimed the light-fly title vacated by Paddy Barnes with a unanimous decision over ex-champion Hugh Myers.
Nineteen-year-old Irvine showcased enough skills en route to his first win at this level against the hard-punching Myers to serve warning to Barnes, a two-time Olympic medallist, that a formidable Irish opponent is on the immediate horizon.
Kurt Walker secured the second belt on offer on a unanimous verdict over Sean Higginson in a repeat of last month’s Ulster bantamweight final, which Walker won by the same margin.
The women’s Elite finals will be decided tonight at the National Stadium. World No. 8 Claire Grace defends her welterweight belt against Cork’s 2014 Youth Olympian Christina Desmond.
Louis Donohue and Debbie O’Reilly go head-to-head for the lightweight title vacated by Katie Taylor because of an arm injury.