15
Mon, Aug
17 New Articles

Laura Moran boxing clever

Sport

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT Boxer Laura Moran is pictured training at her home in Aughagower under the watchful eye of her father, Tomás, during the Covid lockdown in June 2020. Pic: Michael McLaughlin

Interview
Michael Gallagher

IT’S Thursday afternoon in Westport and the town is beginning to move towards the fun of evening when laughter, food, music and merriment take charge.
In a local eatery one of the best young female boxers on the planet sits and talks to The Mayo News about life, sport, family, fun and a myriad of other things.
Laura Moran has no perception of how talented she is. That’s why she’s so good.
Ask her to describe herself and she says - “A girl from Aghagower.” At no stage does she use the words boxer, European silver-medalist, multiple Irish champion, footballer, soccer player or any of thousands of phrases available to describe herself.
In her words, she’s just ‘A girl from Aghagower’.
Laura is 17, and a fifth-year student in Sacred Heart School Westport.
She’s a very talented boxer from the renowned St Anne’s club. She’s an equally talented footballer with Westport and Mayo. She was a top-class soccer player.
She liked nothing better than leathering a handball around the alley in Aghagower. She’s funny, she’s the life and soul of gatherings, she’s realistic, she has no problem with public speaking, she’s humble, she’s determined, she’s great company.
Some interviews are extremely enjoyable. This was one of them.
Where did the boxing journey begin?
“I don’t know. Sport has always been part of our lives, it has always been part of my parents’ lives, it’s what we are,” she explains with simple authority.
“Mam was a good soccer player. Played locally here with Westport United and played with Connacht. She’s mad into the football side of things. Dad loves all sport too. He is driven by GAA and is immersed in it, but boxing really is his life. He boxed for years.
“He went to The Stadium searching for an Irish title for 13 years and finally, finally won it.
“I can’t imagine how much dedication that took; how many times he had to pick himself up to keep coming back. I look at the picture at home of the moment his hand is raised in the ring that night and I can only imagine what it was like. Oisin (my older brother) was just born at that time, and both of us wish we could have been there that night, but that picture tells us everything we need to know.”
That night, the moment, Tomás Moran finally reached the Promised Land will never fade from the memories of those blessed to have witnessed it.
These days he is guiding the next generation to greatness and included among them is his daughter, a boxer with a bright future stretching out in front of her.
Was the father/daughter team successful from the outset? Did the ‘girl from Aghagower’ begin in a blaze of glory and take the sporting world by storm?
“We went down to Geesala for my first fight and got beaten by Leah McDonagh,” she recalled. “We went to Achill for the second fight a week or two later and Leah won again. ”But Dad never panics. We learned a bit, went home, went to the club enjoyed everything and started to win fights.”
At some stage along the way, Laura and Leah met again and Moran got the verdict as she powered her way to Irish titles and on to the European Championships as a 13-year-old.
“I was beaten in my first fight there. It was all over before it really began and I had to go away and learn again.”
She went back to her club gym - The Pete Callaghan Centre - and learned from her dad, Peter Mullen, Paul Mullen and Martin Brennan.
She also played football with Westport and Mayo, becoming one of the best young players in the county.
“I love football. I love my club and I love Mayo. We have a great club team and have done so well all the way up and if we can win a senior title in the future that would be fantastic.”
This season, Laura was a member of the Mayo minor and senior panels but eventually something had to give and boxing has to be her priority for the moment.
“I love football and some day I hope to be back in the Mayo jersey, but I have to do this and see where it brings me,” she said.

LAURA MORAN ON…

MAYO FOR SAM
“I’m a great Mayo supporter, but I was really disappointed when Tyrone beat us last year. I’ve been in Croke Park on good days and bad. One of these days we’ll win it all.

SLEEPING HABITS
“When I’m in competition I’m very diligent about sleep, but when I’m in regular life I’m not the earliest going to bed or the earliest getting out of it in the morning either.”

HER DRIVING TEST
“I passed it on my second attempt last week. If I had failed again I’d never have heard the end of it. Although, I didn’t conk out on my test like Dad did. He actually conked out, yet passed first time. His uncle was a a driving instructor at the time. I’m not saying that had anything to do with it!”

WAR IN UKRAINE
“I’m always aware of how lucky we are here in Mayo and Ireland. I fought a Ukrainian girl in the final and she’s just the same as me. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have war here and I’m sure it’s the same for her. It’s so sad.”

MAYO LADIES FOOTBALL
“I’ve played all underage levels for Mayo and sadly we never got that Connacht ‘A’ title, but there are a great group of girls coming through and exciting times ahead.
“I was fortunate to be part of the senior squad this year too, before boxing took over, and I cannot say enough good about Michael Moyles or the set-up.”

DOING HER HOMEWORK
“I always get it done, but it might be a fast job. If I can get it done in school I’ll do that, otherwise it has to fit in around training or matches.”

ember-coaching-test 300x250

Latest Sport

Mayo manager process moves on

FOOTBALL A management appointment committee has been formed as the painstaking process to select the new senior manager continues

Read more ...

So what makes a good manager?

FOOTBALL Billy Joe Padden looks at the qualities that inter-county players look for in a new team manager

Read more ...

Who remembers summer of ‘89?

FOOTBALL Seán Rice takes a stroll down memory lane in his weekly column to remember Mayo’s run to the All-Ireland Final of 1989

Read more ...

Garrymore find a little extra

FOOTBALL Last weekend’s Mayo Senior League Division 1 quarter-final between Garrymore and Westport whetted the appetite for next month’s club championship

Read more ...

Ballyheane make their point again

SOCCER John Corless watched defending champions Ballyheane and title challengers Ballina Town play out a draw in the Mayo Super League

Read more ...