Willie Donoghue claimed light-flyweight gold at the World Junior Championships in Kiev, Ukraine following a thrilling win over Daniel Gonzalez of the USA.
Two of the three judges gave Donoghue, who boxes out of the St Michael’s Athy BC in Kildare, the first round and two of the three judges gave the Californian the second to leave it all square going into the third.
But Donoghue pulled out all the stops in the final frame – one big right sailing in right over the top in the final ten seconds probably being the punch that clinched the gold – to claim an historic World title for Ireland on a split decision (30-27, 29-28, 27-30).
Donoghue won four fights to secure gold in Kiev and is the second Irish boxer after Joe Ward, the 2011 European Elite champion, to win a World Junior title.
“We’re absolutely thrilled with the victory,” said Irish team manager Jim Walsh. “It was a close final but once again Willie showed his class to win gold for Ireland. What a performance. "
Donoghue's Irish team-mates Kieran Molloy and Sean Conroy both won bronze.