Gold for Dossen at European Championships
Irish middleweight Gabriel Dossen has won gold at the EUBC Men’s European Boxing Championships in Armenia – his first senior tounament.
Dossen put on a classy display of boxing to get the better of England’s Lewis Richardson in their middleweight final, claiming a unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards.
The Irish fighter looked confident from the off and was moving the better of the two fighters in the early stages of the opening round, troubling Richardson from the off with his right jab.
Richardson looked to worry Dossen midway through the first when he landed with a quick flurry that appeared to slightly rock the Irishman but Dossen quickly recovered to retake control.
The Galway fighter finished the round strongly and took the round on all five judges’ scorecards.
Richardson, knowing that he had to do something to keep the bout alive, was much improved in the second round, but still it was Dossen who looked to be connecting with the more telling shots.
Dossen continued to show great footwork, getting inside Richardson’s guard landing his punches then dancing back out of danger.
The Irishman was also starting to go to the body, landing right hooks and while Richardson was having more joy with his jab than in the first it wasn’t enough to convince the judges, who were split on the scoring – 3-2 in favour of Richardson.
With the tournament in the balance, both fighters knew they have work to do to win and started the third round trading blows in the centre. It was Dossen who came off the better of those exchanges.
The Irishman was in his element now, letting fly with powerful combinations and throwing some heavy shots.
A brief break in the action in the closing minute for Richardson to replace a lost mouthguard gave both fighters a chase to reassess things and at this stage Dossen was well in control.
Richa finished strongly in search of the knockout that he needed but Dossen was far too canny to give up gold at this stage.
While both fighters raised their arms at the final bell, Richardson did so in hope more than expectation and so it proved with Dossen taking the fight and the middleweight gold on all five judges’ cards.
Earlier in the day Irish bantamweight fighter Dylan Eagleson won silver. Eagleson was in action against France’s Bilal Bennama, but lost via a unanimous decision following an enthralling final bout.
The teenage Belfast fighter impressed mightily at this tournament, particularly in his semi-final victory over Bulgaria’s Daniel Panev Asenov, but was always up against it in facing Bennama.
The 19-year-old was the early aggressor in the opening round, with Bennama ducking in and out of range as he sized up his opponent.
Eagleson set up in the centre of the ring and as he tried to force the issue early on but the superior footwork of Bennama left him punching air more often than not.
Bennama was perhaps fortunate to escape without a warning for twice pushing Eagleson to the ground but as the round progress and he set-up behind his left jab, it was the Frenchman who was in control and he took the opening round on four of the five judges cards.
The opening stages of the second round following the pattern of the first with Eagleson looking the more aggressive and his opponent the more tactical fighter, carefully picking his counter-punches.
That approach paid dividends for Bennama who, midway through the second round, caught his opponent with a powerful overhand left on the counter, knocking him down and forcing him into a standing count.
That knockdown proved to be decisive, ensuring the round went to the Frenchman and leaving Eagleson needing a stoppage in the third round to take the fight.
That stoppage didn’t come and Bennama skillfully saw out the fight to the take the gold via unanimous decision.
Ireland have another gold medal hope today as Gabriel Dossen is due to face England’s Lewis Richardson in the middleweight final.