Reigning welterweight champion Kieran Molloy takes on precocious challenger Patrick Donovan in what looks a certain show-stealer at this year’s National Elite Finals.
Galway native Molloy will battle the much-touted Our Lady of Lourdes prospect for the 69kg honours, as two former AIBA World Junior medallists do battle in an all-southpaw showdown. Theirs would appear the standout match-up of what is a typically stacked card at the National Stadium.
Returning world lightweight queen Kellie Harrington will also feature on the bill, tackling former Katie Taylor opponent Jelena Jelic in an international bout. Harrington, who fights on Irish soil for the first time since claiming gold in New Delhi last November, received a walkover at this year’s domestic Elites, with no opponent having enrolled against her.
Amy Broadhurst, 2018’s beaten finalist, who boxes out of Dealgan Boxing Club in Louth, has moved up to the 64kg limit for these championships. The 21-year-old underage sensation will be keen to land her maiden senior crown as she takes on Moira McElligott.
European, EU, and double-Commonwealth Games medallist Michaela Walsh returns to the fray in 2019, the Monkstown star taking on veteran Dervla Duffy in the pair’s fifth shared decider.
Duffy, an omnipresence at Irish amateur boxing’s showcase since 2010, is bidding for her sixth Irish title, but has yet to register a finals win over her Belfast counterpart.
The 25-year-old Walsh, who last featured at 51kgs, is back at the now Olympic featherweight limit.
Grainne Walsh, the inaugural winner of the Jimmy Magee Memorial Cup for Best Female Boxer last year, is pitted against Christina Desmond, a high-end middleweight, who has repositioned to welterweight with Olympic ambition in mind.
There are narratives aplenty in the men’s light-heavyweight dual between Tommy Hyde and Thomas O’Toole, with the former seeking to replicate the feat of his great grand-uncle. Also named Tommy, the Cork man won an Elite belt at the same venue seven decades ago.
This year’s version is also known to many as the son of Gary Hyde, manager to future Hall-of-Famer Guillermo Rigondeaux. Hyde navigated his way to this point with a 3-2 split-decision over Paul McCullagh of Belfast.
Elsewhere on the card, Galway flyweight Adam Hession will be hoping to show that age is just a number when the 18-year-old takes on experienced Dubliner Evan Metcalfe, eight years his senior. Hession, who fights out of Monivea, is the club’s first fighter to feature in a national final at this grade. Another westerner, Gabriel Dossen, saw off the challenge of Brett McGinty to reach his maiden decider.
The 2018 champion, Kiril Afanasev, will not be back to defend his crown after being upset by Tony Browne in the preliminary rounds. Browne will be paired against Ken Okungbowa in the heavyweight contest.
Up at 91kg+, reigning super-heavyweight supremo Dean Gardiner will be looking to hold onto his wares when he meets Martin Keenan of Limerick.
In all, there are 18 fights down for decision at the National Stadium tomorrow night, with first bell set for 5.45pm.
All bouts will be broadcast Live on the Sport TG4 YouTube channel, with the broadcaster’s live TV coverage beginning at 8.45pm.