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Westport’s Coughlan prepares for box-offs

Coughlan prepares for world box-offs

Daniel Carey

DANNY Coughlan from St Anne’s Boxing Club will go into action tomorrow (Wednesday) in the box-offs ahead of next month’s World Championships.
The Westport man will be in action in the 56kg Open Unseeded Elite Competition, which the Irish Amateur Boxing Association are using to assist with their selection process for the Azerbaijan event in September and October.
“Things have come together right at the end,” the 21-year-old told The Mayo News. “Sparring has gone really well and injuries have healed up. I’ve been doing a lot of sparring with bigger lads.”
The four-time national champion expects an “intense” few days. He knows that not even winning the bantamweight division would guarantee him a place in Baku – “but it gets your foot inside [the room] for an argument!”
Coughlan, a member of the second-string A squad, has trained in Dublin twice a week for the last while. He’s eager to set the record straight after a disappointing preliminary-round defeat in the national championships in February. Though the box-offs have caused major controversy, the Mayoman is eager to make the most of it. It could be his last year at bantamweight, as he plans to move up to lightweight (60kg) within the year.
“In some weight divisions, champions win a close final, and lads become better during the year,” he explained. “A lot of the high-performance lads would be feeling it this time of year. They might have up to 20 international bouts behind them, whereas we – the lads on the A team – would be fairly fresh. So it’ll be enough to give most of them a run for their money.”

Moylette out with hand injury

RAY Moylette will not be involved in this week’s box-offs at the National Stadium as an injured hand will keep him out of action until later this month.
An MRI scan showed “severe bruising, close to fracture” on his right hand and the St Anne’s Boxing Club member won’t be back punching until August 20. He remains hopeful that winning the European senior title in Turkey will be enough to secure his place as Ireland’s light-welterweight representative at the world championships in Azerbaijan.
“It’s up in the air now, really,” he told The Mayo News. “No-one knows what’s happening either  way. The team isn’t picked or settled. We’re in the dark about it, but I’m fairly confident that I did enough.
“I haven’t punched since the Europeans … If I had to punch now and I won the tournament out, I probably wouldn’t be able to box in the world championships. So it wouldn’t be even worth entering” the Open Unseeded Elite Competition.
Moylette is continuing to train – “doing a lot of running, and doing weights with my legs” but is wary of over-using his left hand, having over-worked his right following a fall on ice at Christmas. “I’ve a piece of string tied from the ceiling, and that’s my punch-bag at the minute ... that’s as close as I’m getting to punching at the moment!”
But despite the injury setback, the young Islandeady man remains confident.
“I’m just hoping to recover and to get back into the ring again. I came back from worse. I can’t dwell on it too much. Six weeks should be plenty of time for it to heal up. I’m not too worried about it. If the Olympic spot is there, I’ll go for it – one hand or not!”

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