Title chances up for grabs as big guns ruled out

This year’s Elite national boxing championships are only at semi-final stage but already we know that five titles will change hands this year.

Michael McDonagh (lightweight, did not enter), Paddy Barnes (light flyweight, flu victim), John Joe Nevin and Connie Sheehan (bantamweight and super-heavyweight respectively, both with hand injuries) all lost their titles without even a punch being thrown, while London 2012 Olympic boxing team captain Darren O’Neill was last Saturday beaten on countback by European U23 champion Jason Quigley in the middleweight division, a measure of the standard on display.

Still standing, however, are Michael Conlan (flyweight), Ross Hickey (light welterweight), Adam Nolan (welterweight), Joe Ward (light-heavyweight) and Tommy McCarthy (heavyweight), who last Saturday comfortably overcame the considerable challenge of Ken Okungbowa.

Olympic bronze medallist Michael Conlan will be making his first appearance but faces a stern test in fellow Belfast boxer Ruairi Dalton. Dalton has already seen action, a lop-sided 21-5 winner over Aidan Metcalfe last weekend, but Conlan will be expected to win, setting himself up nicely for this clash. Hickey, Nolan and McCarthy will also be in action this evening but Joe Ward, with a bye to the final, won’t be in action until next weekend. His likely opponent in that final, Beijing Olympic silver medallist Ken Egan, is in action tomorrow, taking on Davey Joe Joyce, but Willie McLaughlin against John Joe Joyce is the one many are waiting to see on this card (first bout both evenings is at 7pm).

In the women’s championship Lynn McEnery (light flyweight) and Claire Grace (welterweight) also put their titles on the line, Lynn facing Hannah McCarthy (Paulstown) and Claire up against Joanna Barclay (Holy Family).

Another action-packed weekend ahead then, though if any more champions were to fall, it will be a major surprise.

Tonight: 48kg: H Carthy (Paulstown) v L McEnery (St Paul’s); 48kg: M Clarke (Ballinacarrow) v E Duffy (Crumlin); 49kg: H Myres (Ryston) v A Courtney (St Mary’s); 52kg: M Conlan (St John Bosco) v R Dalton (Holy Trinity); 54kg: D Duffy (Ryston) v C Gargan (St Georges); 57kg: J Lambe (Carrickmacross) v L Doyle (Gorey); 56kg: D Geraghty (Crumlin) v D Thorpe (St Aiden’s); 60kg: E Donovan (St Michaels Athy) v S McComb (Holy Trinity); 64kg: A Audley-Murphy (Eastside) v K Harrington (Corinthians); 64kg: R Hickey (Grangecon) v R Date (St Paul’s); 69kg: C Grace (Callan) v J Barclay (Holy Family); 69kg: L Claire Sweetman (Palmerstown) v L Traynor (Bray); 69kg: A Nolan (Bray) v B Brosnan (Crumlin); 75kg: J Quigley (Finn Valley) v C Cummings (Holy Trinity); 91kg: T McCarthy (Oliver Plunkett) v K Sikora (St Francis); 91+kg: S Turner (Drimnagh) v Dean Gardner (Clonmel).

Tomorrow: 49kg: TJ Waite (Cairn Lodge) v S Tracey (Ryston); 52kg: H Joyce (St Michaels Athy) v C Phelan (Ryston); 56kg: G McKenna (Old School) v B Walsh (St Colman’s); 60kg: G Bates (St Mary’s) v D Oliver Joyce (St Michael’s Athy); 64kg: S Duffy (Holy Trinity) v R Moylette (St Anne’s); 69kg: W McLaughlin (Illies GG) v JJ Joyce (St Michael’s Athy); 75kg: C Coyle (St Joseph’s) v R Sheehan (St Michael’s Athy); 81kg: D Joe Joyce (Crumlin) v K Egan (Neilstown); 91kg: P Corcoran (Olympic) v J Sweeney (Drimnagh); 91kg+: N Kennedy (Gorey) v M McKeever (St Matthews).

Finals: 51kg: C Smith (Cavan) v S Daly (Ballyhaunis); 75kg: C Connolly (Raphoe) v S Kavanagh (Drimnagh); 81kg +: L Murphy (Carrickmacross) v TBD; 69kg: TBD v TBD; 48kg: TBD v TBD.

Picture: Michael Conlon (INPHO)

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

More in this Section

Hard work pays as Eoin Morton pulls off shock victory in Charleville

Determined Katie Taylor now just one step from Rio Olympics

Progressive Ah Littleluck stays on dourly to see off market rival

Heartbroken Sergiu Ciobanu set to appeal after ‘unfair’ Olympics omission


You might also like

Breaking Stories

Four talking points ahead of the Champions League final

Cork need to go the way of Clare and Waterford to revive glory days

Irish rower qualifies for Rio at qualifying regatta in Switzerland

Joey Barton ‘delighted to join’ Rangers on two-year deal

Lifestyle

Memories of Jewtown in Cork recalled in poetry collection

Turn off your phone and go to sleep early tonight - you'll thank yourself tomorrow

MAKING CENTS: Plan ahead before you submit housing plans

Recalling the life of Eileen Gray - the Irish mother of Modernism

More From The Irish Examiner