Defending welterweight champion Kieran Molloy retained his title after a pulsating all southpaw battle with Limerick’s Paddy Donovan at the National Stadium tonight.

Molloy took home another 69kg belt on a unanimous decision, but Donovan asked massive questions of the titlist in all three rounds.

The Treaty City lefty, one of Ireland’s most stylish fighters, found the target with some beautiful shots in all three rounds, but Molloy, working overtime, drilled down to deliver his own punches in an absorbing encounter and the fight of the 2019 Championships.

European Under-22 champion Amy Broadhurst claimed her first Elite title and two-time Commonwealth finalist Michaela Walsh retained her belt versus Dearbhla Duffy.

Broadhurst, who had won 16 Irish underage belts up this fight, beat Kildare’s Moira McElligot on a unanimous decision and Walsh recorded a similar margin of victory over Dearbhla Duffy in a repeat of the 2018 final which Walsh also won.

Gabriel Dossen also had his hand raised in victory. The Galway middleweight, who beat last year’s finalists Michael Nevin and Brett McGinty en route to the final outpointed 2017 champion Emmett Brennan in the 75kg decider.

 Christina Desmond (red) and Grainne Walsh (blue)

"We’re absolutely thrilled with the win. Elite finals are always going to be difficult but he came through very well against a very experienced opponent," said Olympic BC coach Mike Mongan who was working Dossen’s corner with his dad John Mongan and John Myers.

Wicklow’s Regan Buckley claimed his first belt at this level in the light-fly class and Antrim’s Chloe Fleck forced Donna Barr into two standing counts in the third round en route to a 3-1 verdict in a repeat of the recent Ulster final which Fleck won on a 3-2 split.

Buckley produced a high-tempo performance to earn a unanimous decision over Dublin’s Sean Mari. Both young men expressed their frustration that light-fly has been dumped by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) as an Olympic weight for Tokyo 2020 before tonight’s clash.

"I’m absolutely over the moon. The win means more to me and my father than anyone will ever know. It’s been a dream of mine all my life and to say that I am the Elite champion is a dream come true for me," said Buckley.

Meantime, Galway’s baby-faced flyweight Adam Hession secured the 52kg belt for the Monivea BC after a fiery encounter with Evan Metcalfe in a top tier three-rounder.

Four contests ended on 3-2 splits, Leona Houlihan, Carly McNaul and James McGivern and Christina Desmond getting the nod from a majority of the five judges.

Regan Buckley and Sean Mari 

McGivern beat George Bates, the 2018 60kg champion, in a very close 63kg decider, while Cork’s southpaw Desmond dethroned defending welter champion Grainne Walsh.

The women’s welter division has a double significance on the road to Tokyo 2020 as the limit is one of the new Olympic weights for women.

Tommy Hyde was aiming to make it a Leeside double but was on the wrong end of a 4-1 split to underdog Thomas O’Toole on a big night for Galway boxing.

Dean Gardiner won his fourth Irish Elite crown in the super heavy class after beating Limerick’s Martin Keenan.

Meanwhile, Kellie Harrington beat Serbia’s Jelena Jelic in an international bout.

The Dublin lightweight was awarded a unanimous verdict in her first outing since winning her world title in New Delhi last November.

Harrington thanked the IABA for arranging the bout and Jelic for taking the contest after her first victory of 2019.

When asked what her next move would be, Harrington quipped: "Probably a pizza or a burger on the way home."

Liffey Crane National Men’s & Women’s Senior Elite Championships 2019
48kg
Chloe Fleck (Canal) beat Donna Barr (Ilies Golden Gloves) 3-1
49kg Regan Buckley (St Teresas) beat Sean Mari (Monkstown Dublin) 5-0
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Castlerea) beat Cheyanne O’Neill (Athlone) 5-0
57kg Michaela Walsh (Monkstown Antrim) beat Dearbhla Duffy (Crumlin) 5-0
57kg Patryk Adamus (Drimnagh) beat Christian Cekiso (Portlaoise) 3-2
60kg David Oliver Joyce (Ballymun) beat Dominic Bradley (Errigal) 5-0
64kg Amy Broadhurst (Dealgan) beat Moira McElligot (St Michaels Athy) 5-0
52kg Adam Hession (Monivea) beat Evan Metcalf (Hyland BA) 4-1
75kg Gabriel Dossen (Olympic Galway) beat Emmett Brennan (Glasnevin) 5-0
80kg Leona Houlihan (Crumlin) beat Lisa Browne (Aglish) 3-2
91kg Anthony Browne (St Michaels Dublin) beat Kenneth Okungbowa Athlone) RSCI3
51kg Carly McNaul (Holy Family Golden Gloves) beat Niamh Early (Ryston) 3-2
63kg James McGivern (St Georges) beat George Bates (St Marys Dublin) 3-2
69kg Christina Desmond (Fr Horgans) beat Grainne Walsh (Spartacus) 3-2
81kg Thomas O’Toole (Celtic Eagles) beat Tommy Hyde (Mayfield) 4-1
69kg Kieran Molloy (Ougterard) beat Patrick Donovan (Our Lady of Lourdes) 5-0
60kg Kellie Harrington (St Mary’s) beat Jelena Jelic (Serbia) 5-0 (International bout)
91+kg Dean Gardiner (Clonmel) beat Martin Keenan (Rathkeale) 5-0
54kg Emma Flannery (Baldoyle) W/O
60kg Kellie Harrington (St Mary’s) W/O
80+kg Nell Fox (Rathkeale) W/O
48kg Chloe Fleck (Canal) beat Donna Barr (Illies Golden Gloves) 3-1