No quitting for Portlaoise boxer

ALL he wants to do is box but MichaelO’Reilly showed more courage than most when the stepped into the courtroom last week to fight for his right to fight for Portlaoise and Ireland in international boxing.

ALL he wants to do is box but MichaelO’Reilly showed more courage than most when the stepped into the courtroom last week to fight for his right to fight for Portlaoise and Ireland in international boxing.

The young boxer will have the chance to consign last week’s courtroom to the past when he climbs into the ring again today at the European Youth at the City West Hotel in Dublin. He is due to fight a champion from the Ukraine.

But it all could have been different for the brave Kilminchy boxer who made national headlines last week when he went to court to win the right to represent Ireland at the championships. The case came about after Michaeal was removed from the squad for supposed “disciplinary” reasons involving an incident with a car. It led to Michael, aged 18, loosing his place on the Irish squad and being disqualified from a box off. But neither Michael nor his club or coach, Pat Ryan were prepared to accept they saw as an injustice.

Pat Ryan has been there for many of Michael’s wins but the court battle was a whole new experience. He said the club and Michael are very pleased with the outcome. While preferring never having to go to court, Mr Ryan said his boxer’s courage represented his club’s mentality.

“There is a syaing we have in the Portlaoise Club: ‘Winners never quit and quitters never win’. Michael is an winner,” said the coach.

Seen more in this week’s Leinster Express.