AN OAKLEAF Boxing Club select returned home from their summer trip to Canada last Wednesday boasting two wins from two against Canadian opposition.
The Brandywell outfit’s first tournament was staged to a packed house in St. Catharine’s, Ontario. The Derry club emerging eventual winners on a scoreline of 5-1 on the night.
Brett McGinty boxed an entertaining exhibition with Canadian champion, Hugo Barraza, the St. Johnston youngster put on a great display.
As did Irish and Nine County champions, Francie Stokes and Ryan Green, who also boxed an exhibition - their opponents both having pulled out.
One interested spectator, who was impressed with the Oakleaf youngsters, was Canadinan boxing legend, George Chuvago who, in conversation with team manager, Eugene O’Kane, singled out the three Oakleaf boxers.
Praise indeed, from someone who has had 97 contests against all the top heavyweights including Mohammed Ali, Joe Frazier and Ken Norton.
Marc McLaughlin impressed when defeating Azeem Khan on points, the St. Mary’s man keeping the taller Khan on the backfoot throughout the three rounds.
Michael Gallagher defeated Canadian champion, Jake James in a tenacious contest, Gallagher the better boxer always seemed to get the upper hand in the exchanges to win a great bout.
Darren Quigley turned in a polished performance to out-point Kyle Allen. All three judges had the Creggan man the winner, much to the delight of his family members who travelled from Quebec to support Darren.
In the heavyweight clash, Sean McGlinchey had to use all his experience in defeating KO specialist, Jordan Smith, southpaw McGlinchey was always in control and although injuring a shoulder was a deserved points winner.
Pat Stokes caused the big upset of the night, winning on a split decision over St Catharine’s Ryan Baulk. Stokes’ awkward southpaw style had Baulk in all sorts of trouble taking rounds one and two but the Canadian rallied in the final round, however, he had left it just too late. The second tournament in Collingwood was hit by injuries and withdrawals, however, the Derry men went on to win 2-0 with victories coming from Marc McLaughlin and Darren Quigley.