DESPITE facing many different challenges and obstacles this season, Rhys Owens defied the odds on Saturday to win the Irish Under-22 National Lightweight Championship at the National Stadium in Dublin.
Sean Crowley, Erne Boxing Club head coach, was delighted with the success of the club’s ‘leading role model’.
“Myself, Greg [Copeland], Dessie [Kennedy], PJ [Friel] and Paul [Cassidy], all the coaches down in the club, are extremely proud of Rhys. He’s really led the charge for boxing in this vicinity,” he said proudly.
“His attitude is very honourable. In victory and in defeat, he shows great humility and deserves so much respect.
“We’re really delighted because it’s great when an honest, hard-working kid perseveres through setbacks and reaches the pinnacle. We’re extremely proud of him.”
On Saturday, Owens was pitted against the hugely talented Brian Gilroy, a former national boxing champion from the Fr Flanagan Boxing Club in Blessington, Wicklow.
Preparation for the bout was far from ideal for the Erne boxer, who had suffered from a very heavy dose of the cold last week, impeding his training ahead of the final.
But despite this, Owens managed to make the weight and get ready for the fight.
Gilroy started the contest on the front foot, taking the first session, after Owens struggled to find his range.
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