By Mark McGoldrick WHEN my mobile phone rang at 7.45pm on Sunday night it was Sean Crowley calling from his Tokyo hotel room. It was 4am his time and he was still buzzing from the experience of watching Dublin boxer Kellie Harrington win a gold medal on the final day of the Olympic Games. […]
The Erne Boxing Club had another hectic weekend of boxing with a quartet of boxers in action, including three at the Mid-Ulster Novice Championships in Banbridge and one competing for the Tyrone and Fermanagh county team against the Ireland squad in Dublin.
The three entrants into the Mid Ulster Novice Championships all returned with medals, Dylan McMahon claimed the Boy 3 (Under 14s) 42kgs title and Nikodim McKiernan claimed the Boy 2 (Under 13s) 75kgs title but a split-decision points defeat resulted in Pearse Mulligan having to settle for silver in the Boy 3 (Under 14s) 39kgs class.
Mulligan fought very gamely against Elmantas Zelepugas (Virginia BC) and bored into his smart boxing opponent at every opportunity. The first two rounds were extremely close with Mulligan’s aggression evenly matched by Zelepugas’s cleaner work.
The Virginia boxer got the better of the final session as Mulligan tired to collect the points victory by a majority decision.
Star performer of the day was Nikodim McKiernan who, after claiming the Mid Ulster 75kgs title by walkover, was pitted against the Malachy Duffy (Virginia BC), the 80+ kgs title holder in a special contest. McKiernan making his ring debut showed no signs of nerves and tore into his much heavier opponent.
Duffy showed a good technique but struggled to contain the Erne boxer and was heavily rocked by a solid right-cross towards the end of the opener.
In the second session a barrage of punches from McKiernan ended matters. After shaking his opponent with a jab-cross combination the contest was halted Duffy was retired.
Meanwhile at the National Boxing Stadium in Dublin, rising prospect Ryan Copeland was representing the Tyrone and Fermanagh select against the National Schoolboy and Youth Squad in a test match.
Copeland was up against Ireland Representative Jacob Florzak (St David Naas BC) in a 60kgs match-up. Florzak boxing out of the southpaw stance posed Copeland a few problems early on but as the bout progress the Erne favourite landed with the cleaner shots and coupled with his greater work-rate took charge of the first two sessions.
The final round was very close but Florzak scored with some good backhand left leads to just nick the round. Tyrone coaches were confident that had the contest gone to the scorecards Copeland would have won the decision.
Erne Boxing Club coach Sean Crowley said, “Despite two of our boxers missing out of the Mid-Ulster Novice championships due to illness, two golds and one silver was a great return. Most satisfying was the performance of Nikodim McKiernan, he’d only started with us back in November and we felt this tournament may have come a bit too soon but judging by the way he applied himself we’ve definitely unveiled a future Irish champion.”
Erne Boxing Club complete their busy January with a team trip to London where they will be taking on a South-West London Divisional Select.
The club’s more experienced boxers Colm McElhill and Aaron Burns will be joined by top prospects Dylan McMahon, Harris Crowley and Ryan Copeland.
Erne Boxing Club’s busy January schedule continued with a third visit to Roscommon in as many weeks. Kaci Crowley, Pearse Mulligan and Ryan Copeland were all in action at the Castlerea Boxing Club tournament at The Hub Centre in Castlerea.
Whilst many of us were enjoying the Christmas break, the Erne Boxing Club had several combatants in action over the festive period with rising prospect Ryan Copeland scoring a duo of wins.
The Erne Boxing Club’s preparations for the busy December and January months ahead took them to the Esker Boxing Club tournament in Lucan last weekend.
For the past 12 weeks the sport of Judo has come to the town of Derrylin and the pilot project climaxed last Wednesday evening with 13 of its students passing their first grading and three also achieving the Yellow Belt grade.
The boxing scene has been very quiet of late and there are reports that the Derrylin Boxing Club is no more. But fight fans and supporters of the club need not fear as the club is still in full operation and has now changed its name to the more fitting Erne Boxing Club.
Derrylin boxer Marty Reilly bows out at semi-final stage of National Youth Championships