Marime and Matthews billed as fight of the night at Ulsters

JP Delaney (right) on his way to beating Michael Cummings on Monday night
Seán O'Neill

Ulster Elite Boxing Championship finals

LOOKING ahead to Thursday's Ulster Elite boxing championship finals in Newry, Holy Trinity coach Harry Hawkins reckons the fight of the night will probably be Bernaldo Marime taking on Gerard Matthews in the Light welterweight division for the U'Prichard Cup.

"Bernaldo's a good kid he was beaten in the final last year and he hopes to go one better this year," said Hawkins.

"He was over at the African championships there a couple of months back and he had two good wins in the African Nations so he has that wee bit of experience this year. It should probably be the fight of the night.

"It's a good match up actually. He fight young Gerard Matthews from St Paul's club in Belfast here who won, I think the 60 kilo at the lightweights last year. He's moved up a weight. So it'll be an interesting fight - they are two good lads. And I think it will probably be one of the better fights."

There are two other Holy Trinity boxers in action tonight at Bellini's nightclub in the city. Connor Doherty takes on Michael Bustard at welterweight for the McGeough Cup and defending champion Stephen McMonagle steps into the ring with Damian O'Hagan from Bishop Kelly to fight at heavyweight for the Harkin Cup.

Hawkins is confident of good shows from all three boxers ahead of the Irish seniors next month: "Our lads are all in fairly well matched fights and we're hopeful of wins," said Hawkins.

Looking back at the boxing over the last few days, Hawkins said that while the 22 male and five female entries were "disappointing," the experience should stand the club's fighters in good stead.

"There were 22 entries - which is pretty disappointing," he continued.

"There were only four quarter-finals and three semi-finals in the whole competition which was disappointing. But a lot of these lads will be entering the Irish championships which are the following weekend.

"They weigh in on the 21st so certainly with our three lads - we're entering to get competition before we go to Dublin for the Irish seniors, which is the big one.

"So it's a real good warm-up for the Irish seniors. There's a lot of Irish champions and Ulster champions who haven't entered, but they would probably be busy enough. But we're entering just to get a work out before the Irish and to try and get rid of any of the rust this week and go down to Dublin and give it our best shot."

Looking at other fight across the card, Hawkins picked out another contest which will be sure to excite local boxing fans,

"An interesting one there is the middleweight final between Conor Wallace, who is from St Monica's but I think he's a local Newry boy and Fergus Quinn from Camlough - so that's a sort of local one there," he added.


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