Clonmel boxer Dean Gardiner claimed his first national Senior Elite Superheavyweight title at the National Stadium in Dublin last Friday night after a commanding performance against Constantin Popvicu, Johnstown, Co. Meath.
Dean was in control throughout the bout against his teak-tough opponent who is originally from Moldova, to take a 3-0 unanimous decision on all the judges’ scorecards.
Hard-hitting Popvicu posed a threat over the three rounds but Dean used his superior skills and displayed a watertight defence to outclass the Co. Meath boxer. Dean beat Niall Kennedy, Gorey in the semi-final on a unanimous decision and in taking this title he cements his place as the number one superheavyweight in the country.
There won’t be much rest for Dean, as a busy few months await. He lines out for the Mexican Guerreros in the world series of boxing (WSB) in Russia in two weeks time and the European championships take place in Baku, Azerbaijan in the summer.
This was Dean’s third Irish title in all grades; he won his first at under 16 and then had a couple of years away from boxing, only to return to win the intermediate title in 2013. He was beaten in last year’s senior final by his club mate Con Sheehan and reached the senior semi-final the previous year, which shows the progress he made in the last few seasons.
Blaine O’Brien completed a memorable weekend for Clonmel Boxing Club when he was presented with his 2014 Annerville award at the annual ceremony hosted by the Tipperary United Sports Panel at the Clonmel Park Hotel on Saturday night.
Right - Dean Gardiner, who won the Irish Superheavyweight boxing title last Friday night, with Robert Scanlon, Martin Fennessy and John Mackey, his coaches at Clonmel Boxing Club. Another coach who wasn’t present when the photo was taken is Bobby Galvin.