Brave show from Braveheart

Connal McDonald
Connal McDonald

Whithorn Bravehearts’ boxer Connal McDonald went out of the European Youth Boxing Championships in Croatia on Wednesday after being defeated in the quarter-finals.

In the 91kg category, Scotland’s Connal was boxing Toni Filipi from Croatia, a silver medallist at the last world championships.

Round 1 – Connal got off to a flyer landing well timed lead hands to the head of the Croat (a 2014 World Youth Championship Silver medal winner), looking fast and moving fluently. Unfazed by the home crowd, Connal continued to land the better of the shots throughout the first round switching from head to body with some heavy blows. Although Filipi was never far away with his own shots it looked like Connal was comfortably in control this round.

Round 2 – Again, Connal used his fast left jab to keep the Croat at bay and effectively followed up with some well-timed uppercuts when he was closed down. It was a good contest for the crowd as both Boxers had success in spells but, again, it was Connal that looked to have the upper hand in round two.

Round 3 – Both Boxers were starting to feel the pace and were getting caught by each other’s shots. Connal had put in a lot of work in the first two rounds it was inevitable that the pace would drop and perhaps the Croatian just shaded this round.

When the referee called the boxers together the Team Scotland corner was confident it would be the Scotsman’s hand being raised. However, Filipi was declared the winner by split decision.

It was an absolutely fantastic effort from Connal who is a genuine 91kg contender and will certainly have taken something from this outing against the World Silver Medallist.