Boxing

Seconds Out: Caoimhin Agyarko and Sean McComb back in amateur action at Holy Trinity show

Michael Marlow, Caoimhin Agyarko, Martin Doherty, Sean McComb, Kyle Smith, Zak Brennan, Conal Burns and Johnny Doherty, with Holy Trinity coach Michael Hawkins jr, before their exhibition bouts against Dublin Docklands. Picture by Mark Marlow
Neil Loughran

FORMER amateur stars Sean McComb and Caoimhin Agyarko donned the vest for old time’s sake at the weekend to help out former club Holy Trinity.

The Turf Lodge boxing institution welcomed a huge travelling contingent from the Dublin Docklands club for a day of exhibitions on Saturday that included bouts from novice right the way up to elite.

According to coach Michael Hawkins sr McComb, now an 8-0 pro since turning over to the paid ranks last year, “got an 8am phone call to see could he be there for 11” before stepping between the ropes for a spar with Docklands light-welter Matthew Tyndall.

Meanwhile, 22-year-old middleweight Agyarko - fresh from his third round stoppage of Nelson Altamirano at the York Hall the previous weekend – went three rounds with 2017 Irish champion Emmett Brennan.

And while it was great to welcome some old friends back to the club, Hawkins sr admits the whole day was a “massive success”, laced with high-quality bouts.

“Caoimhin and Sean came in and pulled us out, presenting some of the prizes as well later on, but there was something like 50 Irish champions at the club on Saturday,” he said.

“I must say, in almost 50 years at the club, I’ve never known a day that was so well organised and ran completely to plan. From the parents of the kids sorting out the food, the youth club sorting out the tea, the exhibition bouts themselves, the presentations, it was one of those days where everything just fell into place.

“Paddy Keogh from Dublin Docklands is about boxing longer than I am, and he always asked about coming up to the club. His son has taken over and him and my son Michael worked on making the matches.

“There wasn’t one single match that was stopped – that’s very unusual, so the match-making was really excellent. Our young committee, they’re all very enthusiastic and everybody did a great job.”

And, following the success of Saturday’s event, Hawkins is hoping to run similar shows at the club every month.

“We have loads of clubs coming on to us about doing something similar and we’re going to try and do one a month, maybe even more, because you could see the lift it gave our kids, getting that test under their belts.

“They weren’t in with novices, they were under that bit of pressure knowing how good their opponents were. It was all very competitive.

“Now everybody’s had a taste of it, they want more.”

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Gerard French, Jack O'Neill and JP Hale with the gold medals won in Barcelona at the weekend

County Antrim boxers seal four medals in Barcelona bounty

A TALENTED County Antrim team returned with an impressive haul of four gold medals from a multi-nations tournament in Barcelona at the weekend.

Flyweight Jack O’Neill, bantams Colm Murphy and JP Hale, and middleweight Gerard French all topped the podium after catching the eye at the Torneio Internacional de L’Amistat-Boxa Olimpica.

Corprus Christi’s O’Neill, the reigning Ulster elite light-fly champion, defeated Jose Rachon Garcia before the relentless Murphy, who boxes out of the St George’s club, saw off Italian Halit Eryilmay.

Star power-puncher Hale, who shared six spectacular rounds with Murphy at the start of 2019, showed his class against the tough Catalunyan Thomas Castejon Hernandez to take a decision win.

French was the last Irishman into the ring, and he proved too strong for Italy’s Francesco Faraoni, with the west Belfast man delivering a commanding performance.

Dylan Duffy and Gerard Matthews narrowly missed on making it to finals day after losing out on split decisions in the semi-final.

Harry Cunningham was team manager, with Tony Leonard and Paddy Fitzsimons travelling as coaches. Malachy Scott was County Antrim’s R&J.

Colm Murphy celebrates with his gold medal after Sunday's final victory over Italian Halit Eryilmay

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Ballybofey's Jason Quigley will be a special guest at the Donegal Boxing Board's awards night on Saturday. Picture by PA

Charlie Nash and Jason Quigley to top bill at Donegal Boxing Board awards

THE Donegal Boxing Board will host its annual awards night on Saturday in the Station House Hotel, Letterkenny.

The year’s special guests will be former British and European lightweight champion, and World-title contender, Charlie Nash as well as Donegal’s very own golden boy Jason Quigley, a top pro prospect and the first Irish male boxer to reach an AIBA World elite final in 2013.

The awards are to honour the achievements of Donegal boxers from September 1, 2018 through to August 31, 2019. A total of 28 awards will be presented on the night, which will include two Hall of Fame and two appreciation accolades.

As a bumper turnout is expected, patrons are asked to arrive early as dinner will be served at 8pm. Tickets are again keenly priced at €25 for dinner, which will be followed by presentations and dance.

Tickets can be purchased from any member of Donegal’s 15 clubs, or by contacting James McCarron on 0035383 8765898 or Peter O’Donnell on 0035387 7703116.

Master of Ceremonies on the night will be Buncrana’s evergreen PJ Halloran, who was previously vice-president of the Ulster Boxing Council for 13 years.

Meanwhile, Donegal’s Raphoe BC, under the guidance of club coaches Gary McCullagh and Gerard Keaveney, will travel to St Paul’s boxing academy for a major tournament in Hull on Saturday, October 12.

The show will take place in the Kingston Suite at the KC Stadium, home of English Championship side Hull City.

Head coach and match-maker McCullagh said that, after a successful trip to fight at Villa Park, Birmingham back in February, he was delighted to receive this invitation from good friend and St Paul’s head coach, Mike Bromby.

A team of 12 will be selected to travel to Hull from October 11-14 for what should be another great experience for all the boxers at the club.

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