FDNY’s  James Gennari lands a straight left against West Yorkshire firefighter Rich Fella in their light heavyweight contest won by the American.

O'Bradaigh advances to semis

 Sean O'Bradaigh is one win away from securing a second consecutive appearance in the Ring Masters/Golden Gloves finals next month after a unanimous points victory over Kyle McGrath in the 176-pound Elite Challenge quarterfinals at the Electric Industry Center in Fresh Meadows, Queens, last Friday.

Last year’s Ring Masters middleweight champion, the 21-year-old NYU senior is now matched against old sparring buddy Jeremy Witherspoon in the semi-finals on April 4 at the Classic Car Club Manhattan at 1 Pier 76 on the west side. Another win will see O'Bradaigh through to the 176-pound final at The Theatre at Madison Square Garden on April 11.

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 His opponent in that eventuality would be Adrian Frometa in a rematch of their SBC Elite light heavyweight championship match last January at the Stereo Garden in Patchogue, Long Island. O'Bradaigh dropped a narrow points decision to the veteran Bronxchester BC fighter then.

 Against McGrath of Champs BC, O'Bradaigh displayed what it could take to go all the way and avenge that set-back to Frometa.

While the shorter by at least three inches McGrath started fast and aggressive, O'Bradaigh, at 6-feet-1 was able to calmly pick him off well, countering superbly with a schooled jab and a left hook-cum-cross.

“The first round I felt like I was able to counter him very easily. I felt comfortable countering him,” said the hitherto Olympic hopeful for both the U.S. and Ireland squads.  “The second round felt much closer to me. He started to push the gas even more.

Sean O’Bradaigh is declared the winner over Kyle McGrath after their Ring Masters/Golden Gloves quarterfinal scrap in Queens last week.

“And then in the third, Coach [Richard Stephenson] was telling me just step on the gas give it the last three minutes, and I just had much more in the gas and I was able to step it up. I started to move forward a little bit instead of countering, because you need energy for all those counters -- it takes a lot of explosiveness, so I just said ‘in the third, let me just kind of walk him down a little more, be a little more offensive.’”

Up next is that intriguing match-up with Jeremy Witherspoon of the Freeport PAL. “We used to train and spar together,” O’Bradaigh said of his upcoming foe nicknamed “King Kong.”

They square off a day after O’Bradaigh’s 22nd birthday, which led him to quip: “I better give myself a good birthday present!”

O’Bradaigh is one of the top 176-pounders in the nation. In addition to the 2023 Ring Masters/Golden Gloves middleweight crown, he bagged the New York Boxing Tournament Elite light heavyweight title and the New York Metropolitan trophy. He also placed in the top four at the 2023 National Championships and competed in two Olympic trials in the U.S., and one in Ireland.

Previously unattached but now representing the NYAC club, O’Bradaigh has a new trainer in the seasoned Richard Stephenson. A combat veteran with valuable coaching experience at the highest level, Stephenson owns the Breathing Boxing Club at NYAC. He’s also a USA Boxing High Performance team coach and formerly drilled the West Point women's boxing team

Ahead of the finals on April 11, US Metro Boxing will hold a press conference next Tuesday, April 2, for the MSG Boxing Ring Masters Championships. It starts at 6 p.m. at Diamante’s located at 410 8th Ave. in Manhattan.  

Sean Dillon, who fights in the Ring Masters’ light heavyweight final on April 11, was victorious for the FDNY against England’s George Dobbins in their International Battle of the Badges clash at the Garden. Dillon had a big opening round, forcing an eight-count with a huge right hand and later scoring a knock down.

A West Yorkshire firefighter, Dobbins was able to make adjustments and avoid further damage while attempting to rally. It went to the cards where Dillon, from  Staten Island, won on split points.  

In their highly rematch, FDNY’s Danny Quinn lost narrowly to NYPD rival Jesse Peterford, a year after edging the cop in their first light heavyweight meeting. Quinn appeared to take the first stanza with a good jab and solid combinations. But Peterford would turn it into a close quarters battle to eke it out.

Unattached Shane Dorgan, the other Irish prospect on the card, lost a classic boxer versus puncher battle with Freddie Almonte of Victory Boxing club. The son of retired FDNY firefighter Michael Dorgan, the 6-foot-3 Shane, who’s 19, used his range and combinations effectively. However, Almonte was relentless and kept coming forward and got the nod after the three round light heavyweight scrap.   

Team veteran James Gennari of Ladder 24 and Vinny Palumbo were the other FDNY winners on the night.

Gennari’s combination punching earned him an eight-count over West Yorkshire firefighter Rich Fella en route to a unanimous decision at light heavyweight. Palumbo also faced West Yorkshire opposition in heavyweight Liam Stables who was saved from further punishment by the referee after a devastating knockdown. 

Following are the other results on the card that pitted FDNY’s Bravest Boxing Team against fighters from police and fire departments from Denver, Chicago, Atlanta, Yonkers and West Yorkshire in the United Kingdom for a charity match supporting the Tunnel to Towers Foundation: Bantamweight - Aaliyah Abrahams FDNY – MTA  lost decision to Lisa Pearson West Yorkshire FD; welterweight -  Julian Gonzalez FDNY EMT ST. 17  lost dec. to  Faisal Khan West Yorkshire FD; middleweights - Nick Mertens Chicago FD  lost dec. to Mike Damiani NYC MTA PD.

 Light heavyweights - Prince Jacobs FDNY EMT Dispatch lost dec. to Gavin Connor Denver PD; Chris Paladino Yonkers FD  outpointed Chris Mayer Atlanta PD; Dmitri Vystoropski FDNY Eng. Co. 62 forfeited bout to Preston Brooks Atlanta FD.

 Cruiserweight - Phil Rivera Eng Co. 96 lost dec. to  Abel Aguilera Denver FD; super heavyweights - Victor Woods FDNY Lad Co. 17  lost dec. to Mitch Sturm Denver FD; and Davie Scott Yonkers FD decisioned Jeff Davis, Port Arthur, Tx. FD.

After the night of exciting action, the FDNY Boxing team, led by president Bobby McGuire, was able to donate $50,000 to the Tunnel to Towers organization.