Maguire sets up a semi final clash with champion Molloy

ESKER Boxing Club’s Luke Maguire has set up a mouthwatering National Elite Championship semi final clash with defending welterweight champion and EU Championship bronze medallist Kieran Molloy.

The 20-year-old southpaw from Lucan marked his first step into top level national amateur boxing with a unanimous 5-0 victory over Michael McGrane from Crumlin BC in the last eight on Friday night in the National Stadium.

Luke Maguire

Luke Maguire of Esker BC is gearing up for a clash with Kieran Molloy

It was a very encouraging performance by the former Michael Andrews Tournament winner and Celtic Box Cup finalist with Esker BC Coach Ed Griffin saying “Luke was up against a good lad from Crumlin, but he is very quick.

“He’s not really a big hitter who will stand and trade. He’s more about speed and picking his shots because that’s the way boxing seems to be going.

“I think that style suits Luke down to the ground, and even the young kids in the club are styling themselves off him.

“All the judges gave him the first two rounds [against McGrane] and three out of five gave him the last, but they all gave him the fight.

“It was his debut at Elite level and he got a unanimous decision. He’s the only boxer from Leinster left in that division now,” Griffin pointed out.

His semi-final adversary, Molloy represents a much tougher challenge and the Oughterard star appears to be well up for defending his title having also chalked up 5-0 triumph over Castlebar’s Aaron Daly in his respective quarter final tie on Friday.

“He [Maguire] is coming up against last year’s Elite champion and a European Elite bronze medallist, but I wouldn’t fear putting Luke in with anyone.

“He’s the first fighter to be representing the Lucan area in the National Elites and if you want to win the title you’re going to have to beat the best.

“They’re both southpaws and, while it won’t be an easy fight for Luke, it won’t be an easy fight for Kieran either.”

“Already two defending champions were beaten in the first week and Luke didn’t care who he faced in the first round,” he said.

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