Jack McGivern determined to keep Ulster title in St George's after booking final spot

Jack McGivern has his hand raised after a split decision win over Dominic Bradley in last night's light-welter semi-final at the Ulster Elite Championships. Picture by Declan Roughan
From Neil Loughran at the Devenish Complex

Amateur boxing: Ulster Elite Championship semi-finals

ON the day his big brother bid farewell to the amateur ranks, Jack McGivern declared his intention to ensure the Ulster Elite light-welterweight title stays in the St George’s club for at least another year.

Commonwealth Games bronze medallist James McGivern announced that he had turned pro with MTK just hours before his younger sibling entered the ring at the Devenish. Last year, it was James who was crowned 63 kilo king but in 2020 it is Jack who will have his eyes on the prize at the Ulster Hall on Tuesday night.

The tall southpaw came out the right side of a 3-2 decision against the tough, tenacious Dominic Bradley from Errigal, using his jab to good effect and landing some eye-catching straight rights as Bradley closed the space.

Despite having already seen off Clonard’s Ben Ferran two nights earlier, there was no sign of tired limbs as McGivern stayed on his toes through all three rounds to have his hand raised.

He will meet Daryl Clarke in Tuesday’s final after the Monkstown man took a 3-2 split decision win over Emerald’s Caoimhin Ferguson, a 2018 Ulster finalist.

“Me and Dominic, we’ve been away on trips together, I know what he’s like, he knows what I’m like. It was a good tough fight, I enjoyed it,” said McGivern.

“My brother had the trophy last year so it would be brilliant to get my name beside his after this. James is going to go far in the pros, we’ve been sparring down at the club every week, hard sparring technical sparring; it’s exactly what I needed stepping up into these.”

It was a good night all round for the Markets club as Colm Murphy set up a mouth-watering repeat of last year’s bantamweight classic with JP Hale when he climbed off the floor to get the better of Kane Marshall.

Just as in the first round of that 2019 Ulster final, Murphy found himself on the canvas early when he walked onto a big left hand from the Emerald man, and did well to stay on his feet when caught with a huge right towards the end of the first.

Marshall was always dangerous off either hand, but Murphy is like the Duracell bunny – he just never stops throwing. As the fight wore on, he asserted himself more and more, landing some hurtful body shots that sucked the life out of Marshall’s challenge.

The Emerald man tired in the final round, only able to muster occasional single shots as Murphy piled on the pressure. A brilliant fight and the right result as the 20-year-old came out the right side of a 4-1 split.

“Back from the dead again,” he smiled.

“I knew he was tired - I clearly lost the first but it’s a three round fight. Sometimes I need to take a few shots before I wake up. The first shot caught me a good bit off balance and then the second one came in and I hit the dirt.

“I’m delighted to be back in the final again – this one was for my granda, Pat Murphy, who passed away a few years ago. I’m going to win this Ulster trophy for him and do him proud.”

Colm Murphy picked himself up off the floor to beat Emerald's Kane Marshall in the 57kg semi-final last night. Picture by Declan Roughan

If he is to do so, he’ll have to reverse the result of last year’s final, with familiar foe Hale lying in wait.

The Star ABC puncher was a unanimous decision winner in a cracking opening contest against Conor Kerr, landing some crunching body shots throughout and working well off his jab at times. The Monkstown man, though, didn’t stop coming and landed some eye-catching uppercuts of his own.

At 69kg, Mullaghbawn’s Eugene McKeever will go for back-to-back Ulster titles after taking a unanimous decision win in a cagey clash with Holy Trinity’s Edgar Vuskans. McKeever, who boxes out of the Holy Family club in Drogheda, will face Matthew McCole (Illies GG) in Tuesday’s welterweight decider after beating Clonard’s Tiarnan Duffy.

Ulster Elite Championship semi-final results

57kg: JP Hale (Star) bt C Kerr (Monkstown) 5-0

57kg: C Murphy (St George’s) bt K Marshall (Emerald) 4-1

63kg: J McGivern (St George’s) bt D Bradley (Errigal) 3-2

63kg: D Clarke (Monkstown) bt C Ferguson (Emerald) 3-2

69kg: E McKeever (Holy Family, Drogheda) bt E Vuskans (Holy Trinity) 5-0

69kg: M McCole (Illies GG) bt T Duffy (Clonard) 5-0

91kg: K Dlugosz (Immaculata) bt T Maughan (Cavan) 4-1

91kg: M Erpelding (Holy Family, Belfast) bt S McMullan (Newington) 3-2

91+kg: D Boriskins (Sacred Heart, Newry) bt W Close (BABA) 3-2

91+kg: P Rogers (St John’s, Derry) bt F Carrothers (Gleann) 5-0

Tuesday, February 25

Ulster Elite Championship finals (8pm)

49kg: C Biggar (Cookstown) v D Toland (Holy Family, Belfast

W51kg: C McNaul (Holy Family) v C Fryers (Immaculata)

W54kg: C McComiskey (Gilford) v S McKenna (Holy Family)

57kg: JP Hale (Star) v C Murphy (St George’s)

60kg: M Kambule (Holy Trinity) v R Lavery (Holy Family)

63kg: J McGivern (St George’s) v D Clarke (Monkstown)

69kg: E McKeever (Holy Family, Drogheda) v M McCole (Illies GG)

75kg: J Tucker (Emerald) v G French (Emerald)

81kg: G McDowell (Eastside) v K Tucker (Emerald)

91kg: K Dlugosz (Immaculata) v M Erpelding (Holy Family)

91+kg: D Boriskins (Sacred Heart, Newry) v P Rogers (St John's, Derry)

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