Bates on the brink

ST MARY’S Boxing Club’s George Bates is back in a National Elite Championship decider for no less than the fourth time after exacting revenge on Patrick Mongan for his defeat in the 2017 final when they met in the National Stadium on Friday 16.

Indeed the Tallaght man certainly turned the tables on his Olympic BC opponent this time round, winning out 4-1 to put himself back on the brink of a very first title at this level.

60kg George BatesSt Marys Dublin A0811

George Bates of St Mary's BC has secured himself a place in the National Elite Championship decider

While he and his St Mary’s team had felt he had done more than enough to secure the title last year. Bates was determined not to leave anything to chance and put in a very clinical performance.

“George boxed really well,” said his coach Noel Burke. “The first round was even enough. George was just trying to feel out his [Mongan’s] response times, see what his reflex was like.

“We knew then that he had the speed and so he just exposed him over the second and third rounds.

“George boxed very relaxed. He had been looking forward to this one. He knew he had performed last year, it was just unfortunate the way the judging went.

“In fairness he [Mongan] kept trying. He was fighting as the champion, but George had too much class for him,” he added.

Bates will now be looking to successfully negotiate the challenge of Francis Cleary when they meet in this year’s title fight on Saturday.

National Elite title

Having already beaten the Ballina man in the final of the Celtic Box Cup back in October, Bates has every reason to be confident of finally landing a National Elite title.

“George has put more effort into this than he ever has” said Burke. “He’s mentally strong and hopefully he can just finally get that title. That’s what it’s all about for him now,” he added.

Bates will be one of three St Mary’s boxers in action in Saturday night’s National Elite Championship Finals line-up.

Last year’s EU Tournament silver-medallist Kellie Harrington will face off against Dealgan’s Amy Broadhurst for the Women’s 60kg title.

At Women’s 75kg, Aoife Burke will be hoping to raise her respective national title when she takes on defending champion Christina Desmond of Fr Horgan’s BC.

Meanwhile St Mary’s man John Maughan was stopped in the second round of his Middleweight quarter final against Gerard French of Clonard Antrim on Friday night.

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