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EMMA RYAN: Big month ahead for Donna Barr

Donna Barr

Donna Barr

A selection of Donegal boxers are gearing up to take part in a tournament against Boston Boxing Academy. There will be 16 fights on the night and 11 boxers will travel from Boston to take part in the tournament.

Donna Barr is one of those boxers and she will take on elite Bantamweight, Amanda Gurekki in the tournament in the Clanree Hotel, Letterkenny on April, 21st.

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Barr spent January of this year with the Irish elite squad at a training camp where the boxer trained with the best in the country. Buoyed by that experience, she is in top form and looking forward to the fight.

“I look forward to every fight as it’s another opportunity to gain experience and to practice what you’ve been doing in the gym. It’s good to keep fighting, otherwise it doesn’t take long for the ring rust to creep in. I trained with the Irish squad for the whole month of January which was an unreal experience, getting to learn from the best. You pick up so much even from the other girls up there.”

Last November, Barr was defeated by Lauren Hogan in the Light-Flyweight final at the Irish Senior Elite Championships. The final verdict was controversial and the Twin Towns boxer and her coaches felt Barr was robbed of the gold medal.

“The defeat in November took a while to get over. I took a few weeks break and enjoyed not making weight for a while but was back in the gym again in no time as hungry as ever. The best lessons learnt are from setbacks.”

Despite the defeat, Barr is back in the ring and is ready to compete in April. The boxer has been working with her coaches in order to be 100% ready for the tournament.

“My coaches are more like family to me at this stage. They’re the best coaches about and they prepare me both physically & mentally which is so important. No task is too big or small for them. They are there any time I need them either for training or just someone to chat to. I would never have got where I have without both of them.”

Barr is enjoying her time in the ring and is encouraging girls of all ages to consider participating in the sport. Not only would boxing increase fitness, it would also improve the health and confidence of young girls.

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“Female boxing is becoming just as popular as male boxing. At the minute we have about 14 girls in the club. It’s harder to get fights which can be frustrating at times but within a few years I’d say it’ll be a lot easier to get matched. Ireland has some seriously talented up & coming girls at all ages. I would say to any girl looking to try, just go for it, what do you have to lose. There’s nothing that will teach you more about yourself than stepping into the ring. It’s a great confidence booster.”

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