Antrim face Derry in Special Challenge

Oakleaf 81kg boxer Sean McGlinchey
Oakleaf 81kg boxer Sean McGlinchey

The Du Pont Rec Club will host an interesting amateur boxing challenge fixture this Friday night when the best the Co. Derry Board can offer will face top boxers from Antrim.

The tournament will form the centre-piece of the Derry County Board’s Annual Awards & Show, when presentations will be made to the most outstanding boxers who competed last season.

In fact, over the last campaign Derry boxers demonstrated their pugilistic prowess, picking up a plethora of national titles and Friday night’s show presents the opportunity for all local boxing fans to come out and see their heroes pick up their rewards.

With awards presented to the most outstanding novice, juvenile, youth, junior and senior cadet, intermediate and senior boxers, there is something for everyone.

There are also special awards for coaching and for services to the local sport.

The Derry County Board will use the tournament as a precursor to hosting the long awaited and much vaunted Ulster Elite Championships which will form part of Derry’s City of Culture celebrations.

The preliminary rounds and semi-finals of the Elite Championships will be staged at the Du Pont venue before moving to the newly constructed pavilion at Ebrington for the finals so this Friday’s show will be the litmus test.

The Ulster Boxing Council initially voiced their concerns about the suitability and location of the Du Pont Club and Friday’s show provides the opportunity to lay to rest any misgivings that this organisation may have had.

Indeed, the Du Pont clubhouse is considered a tried, tested and trusted venue and it has been staging boxing events since 1998.

In fact, the last time these two teams met was at the Maydown site and on that occasion Derry was represented by boxers such as Davy Moore, Gavin Devlin and Kevin Shields among others, that trio appearing as Ulster champions at that time.

Derry has pulled out all the stops in securing the services of the best local boxers for this Friday’s extravaganza and there is high expectation for this team.

Harry Cunningham has done a tremendous job in preparing the Antrim boxers for what promises to be an excellent night of boxing and it’s sure to whet the appetite as we move closer to 2013 and all that it promises.

Doors open at the Du Pont Rec Club at 7.30 p.m. and admission is £10 with £5 concessionary.