Boxing

Seconds Out: Jack McGivern and Edgar Vuskans shine at Ulster senior championships

Holy Trinity welterweight Edgar Vuskans added the Ulster senior title to the Celtic Box Cup gold medal he picked up in Dungarvan seven days earlier
Neil Loughran

JACK McGivern announced his arrival on the senior scene with two impressive performances en route to claiming the Ulster lightweight crown at the Dockers club on Friday night.

Just 18, it was McGivern’s first competition at senior (formerly intermediate) level, and he faced a baptism of fire coming in against Holy Trinity’s Mosa Kambule at the semi-final stage last Thursday night.

Kambule was fresh from landing gold at the previous weekend’s Celtic Box International Cup in Dungarvan, but McGivern used his height advantage to good effect to take a 4-1 split decision.

And he carried that form into the final, scoring a unanimous victory over Star’s Lee McKee, leaving St George’s coach Danny Boyd beaming.

“Jack was very good... absolutely brilliant in fact,” he said.

“His final against Lee McKee, in the first round he boxed really well, in the last two he mixed it up – he made it a wee bit more exciting than I’d want it, but it was a cracking fight.

“He did a great job. He’s only turned 18, so it was a big step up for him, fighting without the headguard too, but he enjoyed it.”

The next stop for McGivern, younger brother of Commonwealth Games bronze medallist James, is the Irish senior championships later this month, where he could be joined by club-mate Diarmuid Mazarire.

He took the 75kg B crown, defeating Evolution’s Ethan McDowell in the decider.

Another young man who has shot to attention in recent weeks is Edgar Vuskans.

The Holy Trinity man swept to the welterweight title at the Celtic Box Cup, and won a preliminary, semi and a final against Newry’s Luke Morgan to land the Ulster crown at Corpus Christi on Sunday.

That made it six fights, two titles and a best boxer award in the space of nine days.

“It’s been tough, there’s been loads of training and a lot of focus on the weight. I’ve had to cut out my part-time job at Nandos for the past two weeks,” said 19-year-old Vuskans.

“But the Celtic Box Cup was a good way to shake off the rust and get some solid fights under my belt.”

Among the other eye-catching finals at the Dockers last Friday night was the lively 57kg meeting of Kane Marshall and Liam Glennon (St Joseph’s, Derry), which the Emerald man won 5-0.

In the open 64kg division, Monkstown’s Darryl Clarke and Ben Ferran (Clonard) went toe-to-toe in the centre of the ring, with Clarke eventually having his hand raised.

The open 75kg final was a war between Clonard’s Dylan Trainor and Chris McCann of St John Bosco. McCann took a count early in the first round but came back strongly in round two, before a hugely competitive third.

Both landed big shots in a thrilling finale, but it was Trainor who got the nod on the night.

The light-heavyweight final saw a north-west battle between Jack Doherty (St Joseph’s, Derry) and Oran Shields (Illies GG). There was very little between the pair over the course of the three rounds, Shields eventually taking a 3-2 decision.

The final bout of the open seniors was an all-Donegal affair between Michael McConigley (Illies GG) and Dungloe’s Dennis O’Donnell at 91kg, which O’Donnell won on a 3-1 split.

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Michaela Walsh will be in action at the World Elite Championships tomorrow, facing Russia's Liudmila Vorontsova in the last 16. Picture by PA

WALSH READY TO FACE RUSSIAN AT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

MICHAELA Walsh will continue her bid for World Championship glory in Ulan-Ude today when she takes on Russia’s Liudmila Vorontsova in the last 16.

The north Belfast feather a two-time Commonwealth Games silver medallist, was a comprehensive winner over Mali's Carmara Fatoumata in her first bout on Saturday to move into today’s showdown with Vorontsova.

She has never faced the Russian but, considering the championships are taking place in Siberia, Walsh will have to leave no doubt in the judges’ minds to book her spot in the quarter-finals.

The 25-year-old is not the only Irish fighter in action over the coming days, with all four members of the team still in the hunt for medals.

Like Walsh, Ceire Smith steps between the ropes today, eager to build on her impressive opening-day win over Australia’s Taylah Robertson.

The Cavan flyweight faces a much tougher challenge today in the form North Korea’s Mi Choi Pang.

In last 16 action tomorrow, meanwhile, are Dundalk lightweight Amy Broadhurst and Cork welter Christina Desmond.

The European U22 champion got the better of rangy German Maya Kleinhans on Sunday, her backhand the key to victory in an awkward all southpaw showdown against her taller opponent.

Tomorrow Broadhurst comes up against Poland’s Aneta Rygielska.

Desmond has already come through a confidence-boosting opening encounter ahead of tomorrow’s last 16 clash with Canada’s Myriam Da Silva.

The powerful Fr Horgan’s fighter proved too strong for England’s Commonwealth champion Sandy Ryan in the round of 32, giving Desmond the perfect platform to go deeper into the competition.

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Two Castles flyweight Jude Gallagher will be part of the Newtownstewart club's international show on October 25. Picture by Hugh Russell

TWO CASTLES TO HOST TOP CLASS INTERNATIONAL FIGHT NIGHT

TWO Castles ABC will host its first ever international boxing tournament on Friday, October 25 – with a glittering array of talent set to showcase their skills at the Fir Tree Hotel, Strabane.

The tournament will feature some of the Newtownstewart club’s boxers on the Irish team as they face Scottish and Welsh champions across the 20 scheduled fights, as national, European and even World championship winners all strut their stuff.

On the Irish team is Two Castles’ own Jude Gallagher, World and European youth bronze medallist, as well as current European junior champions Micks Donoghue, Chloe Gabriel.

Also confirmed are former European champion William Hayden, two-time European Silver medallist Dean Clancy and Brandon McCarthy, who also collected a European silver.

The club’s own Irish champions Cealan Doherty, Danny McHugh, Tiarnan Mayse and Callum McGillion will all be in action, along with Sean Fee and other Tyrone boxers Barney Cochrane, John Conlan and Charles McDonagh.

Other Irish champions set to feature are Suffie Edris, Matthew Tindall, Eoghan Quinn, Sophie O’Sullivan and Carleigh Irving from Illies GG, who won a European bronze medal during the summer and also won her international in Germany at the weekend in the Irish vest.

If you are interested in sponsoring this event, contact John Gallagher on 07793 804819 or email jgallagher135@yahoo.co.uk

FIGHT SCHEDULE

(Irish fighters named second)

Juniors

48kg: K James (Wales) v C Doherty

52kg: R Costa (Wales) v M Donohue

54kg: A Perrie (Scotland) v L Hall

67kg: K Govan (Scotland) v C McGillion

55 kg: B Scott (Wales) v S Fee

63kg: TJ Price (Wales) v C McDonagh

Youths

52kg: R Carlin (Scotland) v J Gallagher

56kg: B Unsworth (Wales) v D Clancy

60 kg: S Jones (Wales) v E Quinn

69kg: G Croft Wales) v W Hayden

75Kg: T Bevan (Wales) v T Mayse

Female

48kg: B Neel (Scotland) v C Irving

52kg: Z Andrews (Wales) v C Gabriel

51kg: H Jones (Wales) v C Smith

Elite

69kg: S Taffetsauffer (Wales) v J Conlan

91kg: S Leyson (Wales) v T Maughan

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