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Back In The Day - Opponent named for Corbett's comeback - The Irish News, July 16, 1999

Darren Corbett at the launch of the the BT NSPCC/swimathon, with a little help from his son Darren junior and James McOwen

Opponent named for Corbett’s comeback

BELFAST’S Darren Corbett steps back into the ring against Stoke fighter Darren Ashton in Carlisle later this month, Matchroom Promoters have announced.

Corbett, the former IBO and Commonwealth cruiserweight champion, lost his coveted titles last year and then was stopped by unrated Frenchman Stephane Allouane in April.

Corbett comes back this time at the unfamiliar light heavyweight division in a bill headed by bantamweight champion Michael Brodie on July 31.

The north Belfast man will be looking to impress against journeyman Ashton (29-11-17-1).

Two sparring partners will arrive in the province on Sunday to prepare the 26-year-old for the win-or-bust bout.

“I’m confident I will perform well...My fitness is unbelievable and I’m ready to challenge for the British title right now,” said a confident Corbett.

The current British champion at light-heavy is Clinton Woods.

Ashton, Corbett’s opponent, is currently ranked 16th in the British listings lost to Woods on points two years ago, which suggests durable opposition.

A spokesperson for Matchrooms Promotions yesterday said: “Darren will need maybe two good fights before any potential match-up with Woods can be arranged.”

Corbett, who has nine months of his contract to run with Barry Hearn, moved to scupper reports that suggested all was not well between the parties.

He said: “I’ve a contract with Matchroom Promotions and I was unhappy with recent reports that things weren’t right between us. That’s not the case.”

Ladies look to lift Tyrone gloom

ULSTER Junior champions Tyrone will try to lift the gloom following the men’s tame exit against Down last week in Sunday’s semi-final against Monaghan (Omagh, 3pm).

Not surprisingly, after the 7-17 to 1- 2 demolition of Fermanagh in the first round, the Red Hands have not made too many changes.

Definitely ruled out of the game is centre half-back Caroline Donnelly, who headed to Boston for the summer after helping the team past Fermanagh.

There is a slight doubt over cornerback Siobhan McGarvey who is suffering from a chest infection, but the Beragh player is likely to start and step up to fill Donnelly’s centre half-back berth.

Former captain Ailish Gildernew will come in at cornerback for McGarvey.

Otherwise the team has a settled look about it and is the same side which defeated Dublin in the National League final and Fermanagh in the first round of the championship.

Although Ciara Strain made a miraculous recovery from a car accident two months ago to come on as a substitute against Fermanagh, she has not been able to train since and unlikely to feature in the near future.

Tyrone selector Aiden Connolly said although the loss of Caroline Donnelly was great, he was happy with the changes made.

“We have good depth in the panel and are looking forward to what should be a very tough challenge,” he said.

FA give United fans hope

THE Football Association have told Manchester United fans that the club could yet play in next season’s FA Cup.

The FA’s executive director David Davies offered the ray of hope during a meeting at Lancaster Gate with representatives from various supporters’ groups.

Davies told officials from the Independent Manchester United Supporters Association, the Football Supporters Association and the National Federation of Football Supporters Clubs that they will consider any viable alternative.

The fans put some options to Davies, which he has promised to examine, which would enable United to play in the FA Cup and the World Team Championship.

The two sides agreed to meet again in the middle of next month and to invite the Professional Footballers Association and the League Managers’ Association.

IMUSA chairman Andy Walsh claimed he was encouraged by Davies’ attitude during the two-hour long meeting.

“We remain hopeful and David Davies said the door was not closed,” he said.

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