Braid ABC boxer Anthony O’Rawe claimed his second Ulster senior elite title last week after defeating Derry’s Marc McLaughlin.
Anthony, who previously won the bantamweight title in 2012, stepped up a weight and claimed the 60kg lightweight title in emphatic fashion at the finals in Newry.
O’Rawe, who trains at the Braid ABC club in Ballykeel, has now been boxing a senior level for 4 years and is thrilled to have won his second senior title.
Anthony, who is renowned for his relentless training and fighting style, outfought and out boxed his opponent who was considered the favourite going into the championships.
McLaughlin, currently boxing out of the Dockers club in Belfast narrowly lost in the 2013 final which saw him miss his place in the commonwealth games team in which the eventual winner James Fitzpatrick claimed a silver medal.
McLaughlin had definitely come into these fights with a determined outcome but Anthony had other ideas of his own,
Anthony recently stepped up to Lightweight after finding it increasingly difficult to make the 56kg bantamweight limit.
Braid Amateur Boxing Club head coach John McLeister explains: “After some deliberation and assessment during sparring session we decided to move Anthony up as he was strong enough to hold his own in sparring sessions with boys much heavier.
“Also, the weight cutting to make 56kg was manifesting itself in a negative way during the competitions leaving him drained and feeling weak.
“Anthony controlled the fight and was stronger than his opponent and felt very comfortable throughout.the first round was a close affair that could have went either way with both lads trying to assert their authority.
“McLaughlin probably got the first round by catching the judges eyes with a good flurry of clean shot towards the last 20 seconds of the round,
“Anthony came out in the second round and from the off had McLaughlin on the back foot and settled into his boxing countering the attacks and landing thunderous right hands, Anthony claimed the second round and so the third round was going to be the decider.
“Anthony started off as he finished the second with slick movements and fast counter attacks which clearly troubled McLaughlin, Anthony was enjoying the fight and his fitness levels allowed him to keep the work rate to a very high level which made the difference in the last quarter of the round with Anthony finishing strongest and the clear winner,” added John.
Anthony will now plan a trip to the Irish senior elite which will see him coming up against European level boxers as well as current Irish senior, intermediate and under22 champions.
The Ballymena man is looking forward to getting into the mix and will set his sights on causing a few upsets.