Sunderland boxer targets big Games after national glory

Kiaran Macdonald with his national title belt
Kiaran Macdonald with his national title belt
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Kiaran Macdonald is targeting international success after claiming the English national boxing title.

The 18-year-old became Sunderland ABC’s fourth Senior Elite ABA champion in the last 10 years when he defeated top seed Sunny Edwards in the 49kg final at the Liverpool Echo arena.

Everything went to plan.

And he is now looking to press on and make a name for himself on the international stage, with the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia, and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics his top targets.

In the regional rounds of the ABA championships, Kiaran beat Great Britain boxer and former ABA champion Joe Maphosa (Middlesbrough), who was seeded number two.

Kiaran took on the number two seeding and lived up to expectations in the national semi-final when he outlassed Faluk Hussain (Windmill ABC), winning a unanimous decision.

That set up a crunch final - against number one seed, Sunny Edwards (Steel City).

From the first bell, Macdonald showed his class staying just in range of Edwards but bobbing and weaving while firing home lightning-fast shots to catch Edwards with ease.

It left the Sheffield man unsettled and Macdonald didn’t let up.

In the final round, Macdonald fired home some strong right jabs to again catch the eye.

At the final bell, both men raised their hands in anticipation of victory but it was Macdonald who rightly got the verdict.

“Everything went to plan,” said Macdonald, who is now part of Britain’s men’s development squad.

He has already fought internationally, competing in the Youth Commonwealth Games in Samoa last year, and that has whetted his appetite for more success.

“That trip was brilliant,” he said. “It was a great experience and great to be part of the team.

“I’m now going down to Sheffield every two weeks to train with the squad and I want to impress.

“I’ll get the chance to fight in some big events and I need to do my job and do well.

“I’m looking at the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and the 2020 Olympics as big targets. I know I have to work very hard and that is what I’ll do.”