Boxing

Sean McComb still '100 per cent committed' to Team NI says club coach Michael Hawkins

Sean McComb is 'very annoyed at the whole episode' according to Holy Trinity coach Michael Hawkins. Picture by PA
Neil Loughran

SEAN McComb has apologised for a high-profile altercation with bouncers outside a Gold Coast nightclub, and remains “100 per cent committed” to Team NI.

The 25-year-old, joint captain of the boxers Down Under, clashed with door staff outside Sin City nightclub in the early hours of Wednesday morning and, although no-one was injured, police were called.

McComb – who exited the competition at the hands of Luke McCormack on Sunday - has since been fined and banned from two nightlife areas, and didn’t return to the athletes’ village until late last night.

One of the first people to speak to McComb in the aftermath was Michael Hawkins, his coach at Holy Trinity, and he said the fighter was “devastated” about the incident.

“Sean’s very annoyed at the whole thing,” said Hawkins.

“It was only a few beers, he feels it has been blown totally out of all proportion.

“He’s team captain, he’s aware of that, and he’s devastated this has happened. He wants to get in there and get involved with the team, give all the encouragement he can.

“He’s 100 per cent committed to the team.”

Team NI chef de mission Robert McVeigh described the incident as “a serious blow to our reputation”, and said he planned to interview McComb before speaking to local police about what course of action to take.

Asked whether it was a possibility he could be sent home, McVeigh replied: “Anything is possible”.

Hawkins was part of the Northern Ireland coaching team at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi when Steven Donnelly and Tyrone McCullagh were sent home early, and hopes that history won’t be repeated eight years later.

He added: “I don’t think anybody would want to see that happen.

“It’s very difficult… you go out there, you’ve spent your whole career preparing to go and do well at a big competition like this, and when you lose in your first fight it’s not the best thing to happen.

“The same thing happened with Steven Donnelly and Tyrone McCullagh – I was there, and it was all exaggerated. I fear the same thing for Sean because I was talking to him this morning and it sounds as though little or nothing actually happened.

“There was an incident at a nightclub, the cops came, he was in for 10 minutes, was told ‘this is just procedure’, and then he was straight out.”

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