Ulster Senior light heavyweight champion, Sean McGlinchey tops the bill at Oakleaf Boxing Club’s end of season showpiece, The Odran McKinney Memorial tournament at the Maldron Hotel this Friday night.
The Creggan man will box Irish international, Brian Ward (Tuam ABC), a solid performer who will certainly come for a ‘dust-up’ with McGlinchey, who is certain to be tested.
It promises to be an emotional night for Oakleaf stalwart, Gearoid McGilloway who will hang up the gloves after his bout with Raphoe’s Ruari McGlinchey.
The Brandywell middleweight - a three times Irish champion - was in the Oakleaf squad who boxed a Canadian team back in 2013. McGilloway’s contest with Canadian champion Ben Bebie is still regarded by many as one of the best amateur contests seen in the city for quite some time.
Another intriguing lightweight battle will involve Oakleaf’s Calum Toland and former club mate Tom Stokes now fighting out of All Saints Ballymena. This is the classic boxer versus fighter scenario. Toland knows only one way to box, which is going forward and applying pressure against the southpaw skills of Stokes. This one could be a contender for ‘fight of the night’.
Aaron Rogan, another former Oakleaf Irish champion, is making a welcome return to the ring on the night. ‘Rogie’ has kindly stepped in at the last minute to replace his injured brother Raymond. The matchmakers have yet to name his opponent.
Cruiserweight Graham Doherty who has just recently returned from Australia has also offered his services for the tournament and the organisers are franticly trying to get a suitable opponent for the very capable Bishop Street man.
Unfortunately one Oakleaf boxer who won’t be on the bill will be Brett McGinty, the six times Irish champion, European bronze medallist and Commonwealth Youth Silver Medallist will be in Dublin competing in the semi-final of the National U18 tournament.
Brett’s opponent is Michael Nevin, a double European Gold Medal winner and World Youth Medallist, a tough task indeed, but the 17-year-old St Johnston man has already disposed of the 2013 European champion, Jordan Myers in the quarter-finals.
Oakleaf officials are quietly confident that their ever-improving star can topple Nevin, the ‘golden boy’ of Irish youth boxing.
Oakleaf Boxing Club have put together a superb line-up for Friday night’s tournament and have asked punters to arrive early as there is a strict attendance limit.
Tickets are still available from club members. A full list of contests will appear in Friday’s edition.
Admission is £6. Concessionary £4 (pay at door). First contest starts at 8 p.m.