Dylan Eagleson is setting his sights on Commonwealth Games gold after rapid rise

If the year were to end now, it would already be deemed a huge success for Dylan Eagleson.

ronze at the European U22s and silver at the European Elites have marked quite a remarkable start to life on the senior international circuit for the 19-year-old from Bangor.

The next step would be winning gold and the St Paul’s ABC bantamweight believes that is what he is set to achieve at next month’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

What makes his ascent all the more remarkable is that Eagleson wasn’t able to compete in last year’s Irish or Ulster Elites due to being too young.

“It’s been a good few months getting two major medals and good considering it’s the first year back after Covid,” he said on a media call in Ulster University’s Jordanstown campus.

“I was confident going (to the Europeans), but I suppose I wasn’t really expecting to medal because I was going in to box against Olympians, but beating three Olympians was a great experience. I knew I had come on from the U22s and knew what I was getting into.

“I just stuck to my boxing and listened to the coaches out there. When you get into a flow, you are hard to beat so I got into a flow and started to enjoy it.”

With no time to dwell on his success in Armenia, where his run came to an end against experienced Frenchman Bilal Bennama, it’s straight into preparations for the Commonwealths.

Eagleson’s fighting style has already won plenty of admirers, including Carl Frampton, who, in his weekly Sunday Life column, predicted a big future for the rising star.

If he can maintain his performance levels, then he could quickly become a household name with the added attention the Commonwealth Games receives from the wider public.

Sure, it has been a hectic run this year, but that’s just the way he likes it as momentum continues to build and there is no doubt as to what his goals are in Birmingham.

“My name is starting to get out there now, but it just makes me want to train harder because when I go away, I know I’m going to be the one to beat, so I have to stay on the ball,” he accepted.

“Going out to the Euros, I wasn’t seeded so going out to beat the No.2 seed was great and it’s helped put my name out there.

“I just have to stay focused and keep listening to the coaches. I’ve been busy the past few months and it’s hard on the body with training and fighting, but it is all worth it.

“When you are winning you don’t want to stop, keep going and keep improving. I’ve had bronze, had silver, so now hopefully I can finish this one off with a gold and have a good few weeks of a break after.”

Brendan Irvine was the man they all looked up to at St Paul’s ABC, qualifying for successive Olympics and claiming flyweight silver at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.

Eagleson took inspiration from the achievements of his clubmate, but now it’s his time and he added: “It’s great for the younger ones to have something to look up to. I try to be in the club as much as I can to help out and motivate the younger club members.”

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