Clonmel Boxing Club will celebrate very successful year at annual Tipperary tournament

Dean Gardiner

Three-time Irish Senior Elite super heavyweight boxing champion Dean 'Breakfast' Gardiner was one of the many Clonmel boxers who enjoyed a great year

Clonmel Boxing Club will celebrate a year of significant achievement when it hosts its 24th annual tournament in The Clonmel Park Hotel this Saturday night January 12. 

It promises to be an action-packed night featuring Clonmel's Irish champions, international boxers and European champion. 

Starting at 7.30, there will be 12 bouts and a great night’s entertainment is assured. Tickets are only €15 each and are available from committee members and from reception at The Clonmel Park Hotel.

The club has another very busy year ahead, with Dean Gardiner preparing to defend his Senior Elite title in February, and the county championships taking place in the same month.  

The club can also refelect on the past year with great satisfaction, with 2018 proving to be one of the most successful years to date for the Clonmel club. Ellie Mai Gartland's European gold medal win in Russia was the highlight of many great successes in the ring. 

Five national titles were won by Clonmel boxers, with two finishing as All-Ireland runners-up. The club also won the Best Club trophy at the Waterford/Tipperary county championships for the most titles won. 

Dean Gardiner got 2018 off to a great start when he claimed his third Irish Senior Elite title at superheavyweight, and he had the honour of being Irish Elite team captain for the year. 

Dean also represented Ireland in the European Union Championship in Spain. 

Conor O’Donovan won his first Irish title in some style, taking the Junior Cadet title at 44.5 kgs and in the process booking a place on the Irish team that competed in the European Cadet championship in Albena, Bulgaria. It was Conor's first time representing his country but the experience didn't faze him.

He won his bout in the preliminaries, only to exit the championship at the quarter-final stage on a split decision against his Czech opponent after a great performance. 

Conor also took home the Best Boxer award at the Wexford Box Cup out of 387 boxers, as well as the Box Cup title, which marks him out as one to watch in the future. 

Courtney Joyce claimed her second successive Irish title with some standout displays of controlled boxing that defied her young age. 

Above - Clonmel Boxing Club members who between them won a European championship, represented their country and won national championships in the past year. From left, Conor O’Donovan, Irish champion and international boxer; Ellie Mai Gartland, European champion; Raymond Joyce, Most Improved Boxer of the Year; Dean ‘Breakfast’ Gardiner, three-time Irish Elite champion; Jerome Lonergan Gartland, Irish international; Courtney Joyce, Irish champion and Leah O’Gorman, Irish championship finalist

Ellie Mai Gartland had an outstanding year even by her own high standards, first winning the girls Under 15 Irish title and going on to claim the Senior Cadet title and a place on the Irish team to compete at the European Junior championship in Anapa, Russia. Here she made history, becoming Clonmel Boxing Club and Tipperary's first European boxing champion, claiming gold in the 54kgs division. 

Ellie Mai finished the year with a 19-contest unbeaten record in all competitions. Ellie Mai and her twin brother Jerome Lonergan Gartland also made history when they both represented Ireland on the international stage against England in Edenderry. 

Ellie beat her English opponent on a unanimous decision, with Jerome taking victory over the English champion on a split decision. 

Jerome Lonergan Gartland also had a successful year, winning an excellent Munster title and progressing to an Irish final, only to be beaten on a split decision. 

Leah O’Gorman was also unlucky in an Irish final after putting up a great display in her first year of boxing. 

Raymond Joyce was another boxer who made great strides in 2018 and in one of the most memorable performances of the year he was beaten on a split decision in the final of the Wexford Box Cup by European Cadet champion, Cork’s Michael Faulkner, pushing the gold medal winner all the way. 

For more Tipperary sport read Clonmel Town get ready for big FAI Junior Cup match