McGinty captains Ireland at European Youth Championships

Tony OConnor (second from right) presenting Oakleaf Boxing Clubs Bret McGinty with a sponsorship cheque ahead of the Euro Youth Boxing Championships in Russia this week. Bret will captain the Irish Youth team. Included in the picture are Eugene Budge OKane (left) coach and Oakleaf Boxing Club secretary Eugene OKane. DER2216GS043
Tony OConnor (second from right) presenting Oakleaf Boxing Clubs Bret McGinty with a sponsorship cheque ahead of the Euro Youth Boxing Championships in Russia this week. Bret will captain the Irish Youth team. Included in the picture are Eugene Budge OKane (left) coach and Oakleaf Boxing Club secretary Eugene OKane. DER2216GS043

RISING Amateur boxing star, Brett McGinty will be hoping the draw is kind to him as he weighs-in this morning in Anapa, Russia for the opening round of the European Youth Boxing Championships.

The Oakleaf Amateur Boxing Clubman, who was given the honour of being appointed Irish team captain, will compete at welterweight and will no doubt be hoping for the “rub of the green’.

At the 2014 European Junior Championships, after defeating Hungary’s Lazio Kozak 3-0 on points in the preliminaries, the St Johnston man was the victim of a shocking 2-1 split decision in the quarter-finals to Croatia’s Maldam Sobjeslavski.

The talented 17 year-old will be looking to set the record straight if he meets the Croatian again or another old foe, England’s Mohammed Harris Akbar who defeated McGinty 2-1 in the final of the Commonwealth Youth Games, which was held in Samoa 2015.

Commenting before he left for Russia, the Oakleaf man added that it would be a tough championship, but said he ‘s determined to bring back the gold medal.

“It’s a great oportunity for me,” he said. “I’ve had a great year and to be named captain of the team is an added bonus and gives me great confidence.

“I’ve had eight fights this year and have eight wins so I’m in good form and hopefully I can follow that on in these Championships,” he added.

“My preparation for me has been spot on. It’s a great opportunity for me. I missed out on them last year, but I’ve come back stronger and have had a great year.

“If you believe in yourself, which I do, you can do anything. I believe that, on my day, I can give anyone a fight. It came good for me in the All-Irelands.

I’m out to win gold and beat everyone in my way. Put it this way: whoever is standing across from me when I get into that ring is in for a tough fight.”

McGinty won the National U18s where he defeated two former European champions, Jordan Myers and Michael Nevin on his way to the final. Nevin a three times European gold medallist, World Junior silver and World Bronze medallist, a boxer who had not been beaten by a European boxer in six years, so the Deele College student’s confidence will be sky high following his brilliant performances and he will fear no one in Russia.

McGinty’s club coach Eugene ‘Budge’ O’Kane also spoke highly of his young charge’s performances this past year.

“We’ve seen a vast improvement in Brett’s fitness levels, and both defensive and technical skills. He is unbeaten in his last 12 contests since Samoa. Brett defeated the Welsh 2014 senior champion and travelled to the USA to defeat the highly rated Donte Washington.”

It will be a proud moment for Brett and his club when he leads out the Irish Team in Anapa and all local boxing fans will no doubt wish the Oakleaf boxer the best of luck and hope he bring back gold from Russia.