O’Connor brothers top 12-bout bill at Rylane club tournament

Brendan Mooney

This will be Rylane’s second tournament of the season and part of their build-up to the St Patrick’s Night extravaganza at the Rochestown Park Hotel when An Garda Siochána will take on a mixed team of men and women from the New York Police Department in a dinner show that will be one of the highlights of the Cork’s European City of Culture celebrations.

The O’Connor brothers have all trained under Dan Lane, who has a stable of close on 70 young boxers in Rylane, though at the recent

Munster intermediate championships in Limerick Colm and Donal had mixed fortunes.

Colm won the light-heavyweight title and he is offering a rematch to the beaten finalist, John Mackey from Clonmel, and if it lives up to the final then fans will be treated to another thriller.

Donal, however, was on the receiving end when he met Brendan O’Brien (The Glen) in the middleweight final, but O’Brien has offered him a chance for revenge.

“It would be difficult to predict how either re-match will go,” Dan Lane admitted. “But it is certain that each contest will be entertaining.”

There will be a host of Irish champions on parade for the show and of particular interest will be the bout involving the recently crowned national under-21 64kg champion, David Joyce, one of two brothers from the St Michael’s Club in Athy, who will make the trip with IABA president Dominic O’Rourke who coaches the boxers there.

Joyce, who has a number of underage titles to his credit and has been singled out as one to watch for the future, will face David Barrett from Rylane. Barrett, a brother of former national champions Seanie and Declan Barrett as well as another boxing brother, Stephen, is a powerful puncher in the mould of his elder brothers who were never afraid to mix it. He is on the brink of a big breakthrough and fans will be able to assess his potential against an opponent of this calibre.

John Joe Joyce is also a boxer with a bright future and he will be taking on Cork’s newly crowned Munster intermediate lightweight champion, Andrew Thornton (Leeside/Lough).

Rylane, who could send out boxers in every weight, have an interesting opponent for twice national champion Ben Maguire of Clonmel, in the person of Cian Lawlor, who is regarded as one of the biggest punchers in the game.

The Clonmel club is riding high and they will bring down another of last year’s national champions, John Landers, to box Shane Cronin. Probably the most interesting contest on the bill will be the ladies bout between Amy O’Callaghan (Rylane) and the Munster intermediate middleweight champion, Nadia Barry (Bantry).

One of last year’s beaten youths finalists, Tom Power (Rylane), will box Niall Healy (Bantry); heavyweight Christopher Savage will box Billy Casey (St Colman’s); while at light-middle Christopher Fitzgerald will meet Luke Cullinane (St Colman’s). Owen Dennehy meets Killian Burke (St Colman’s), while Pat Fitzgibbon and John McSullivan are both awaiting confirmation of their opponents.

Superintendent Pat Killilea and the new national treasurer of the IABA, Inspector Larry Morrison, will be in Cork tonight to review plans for the big boxing show on St. Patrick’s night. “The tournament has stirred up a lot of interest and, even at this early stage, we have had enquiries about tables from as far away as Galway,” Dan Lane said.

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