Kenny Okungbowa, in blue, in action during Wednesday's semi final victory over Crumlin's Thomas Carthy.

Athlone's Kenny bids to retain national title on Friday

Athlone boxer Kenny Okungbowa will be aiming to retain his national 91 kg title when he steps into the ring at the IABA Men’s and Women’s Irish National Senior Elite Boxing Finals tomorrow (Friday) evening. 

Kenny booked his place in the final by outpointing Thomas Carthy of Crumlin Boxing Club in the semi final last night. 

He now faces Antoine Ó Griofa (Celtic Eagles/Defence Forces)  in the final which is scheduled to begin at 10.45pm tomorrow.

All seventeen fights will be broadcast live on TG4’s YouTube site, and coverage of the finals will also be shown live on TG4 television between 7.30pm to 11pm. 

The upcoming qualifications for the Olympics in Tokyo next summer have resulted in the national finals being staged twice in this calendar year. 

Kenny became a national champion in bizarre circumstances earlier this year. 

His opponent in the 91kg final in February, Tony Browne, was mistakenly announced as the winner of the bout but this was officially overturned five weeks later. 

Both boxers sustained cuts during a scrappy bout, and in the third and final round, the fight was stopped because a ringside doctor found that a cut over Browne’s right eye was too severe to allow him to continue.

The Athlone man began celebrating when the fight ended, believing he had won on a stoppage. However his joy turned to bewilderment moments later, when Browne’s hand was wrongly raised in victory.

But since the fight was ended by an injury caused by a punch, Okungbowa should have been declared the rightful winner at the time. Athlone Boxing Club appealed the decision and it was successfully overturned.

Grainne Walsh of the Spartacus club in Tullamore will also be in action tomorrow when she faces Christina Desmond in what's likely to be a closely-contested 69kg final. 

Here's the full schedule of bouts: 

IABA National Men’s and Women’s Elite Championship Finals from the National Stadium in Dublin
6:00pm - Ring Parade & Anthem   

6:25pm - Male 49kg Final: Ricky Nesbitt (Holy Family Drogheda)  v  Sean Mari (Monkstown D)

6:40pm - Female 64kg Final: Evelyn Igharo (Clann Naofa)  v  Ciara Ginty (Geesala)

6:55pm - Female 81kg Final: Nell Fox (Rathkeale) v Leona Houlihan (Crumlin)

7:10pm - Male 60kg Final: Barry McReynolds (Holy Trinity)  v  Brandon McCarthy (St Michaels Athy)
7:35pm - Female 48kg Final: Shannon Sweeney (St Annes)  v  Daina Moorehouse (Enniskerry)

7:54pm - Male 75kg Final: Jason Harty (Rathkeale)  v  John Joe Nevin (Crumlin)

8:13pm - Male 81kg Final: Thomas O’Toole (Celtic Eagles)  v  Emmett Brennan (Docklands)

8:32pm - Female 57kg Final: Michaela Walsh (Monkstown A)  v  Emma Agnew (Dealgan)

8:51pm - Female 51kg Final: Niamh Early (Ryston)  v  Ceire Smith (Cavan)

9:10pm - Male 52kg Final: Jude Gallagher (Two Castles)  v  Regan Buckley (St Teresa’s)

9:29pm - Male 57kg Final: Patryk Adamus (Drimnagh)  v  Dean Clancy (Sean McDermott)

9:48pm - Male 69kg Final: Aidan Walsh (Monkstown Antrim)  v  Callum Walsh (Riverstown)

10:07pm - Female 69kg Final: Christina Desmond (Fr Horgans)  v  Grainne Walsh (Spartacus)

10:26pm - Male 63kg Final: Wayne Kelly (Portlaoise)  v  George Bates (St Mary’s Dublin)

10:45pm - Male 91+kg Final: Antoine Ó Griofa (Celtic Eagles/Defence Forces)  v  Kenneth Okungbowa (Athlone)

11:05pm - Female 54kg Final: Zara Breslin (Tramore)  v  Sarah Haghighat (St Brigids, Edenderry)

11:20pm - Male 91kg Final: Kiril Afanasev (Smithfield)  v  Daniel O’Brien (Santry/Defence Forces)