For the first time in its history, the Ulster Elite Amateur Boxing Championships will be staged in Derry city and it’s understood these high profile championships will signal the first instalment in a programme of events organised by the County Derry Boxing Board as part of the City of Culture celebrations in 2013.
Confirming the news this week, the Derry County Board secretary, Min McCann, said the programme would give the amateur boxing fraternity an opportunity to play it’s part in joining in the City of Culture celebrates.
He said: “There is a long tradition of boxing, both amateur and professional, in the city and the City of Culture events give us the opportunity to join in the celebration of that tradition.
“We’re delighted to bring these prestigious Championships to Derry and we extend our thanks to the Ulster Amateur Boxing Council for that opportunity,” add Mr. McCann.
The preliminary rounds and semi-finals of the championships will be staged in the Du Pont Recreation Club, regarded as the premier venue for boxing locally, while the finals night will move to the marquee at Ebrington Square, which has been specifically constructed for City of Culture events.
“We expect to see the likes of Olympians Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlon entering the competition as well as our own local senior boxers. In fact, these championships attract quite a few coaches who will use the tournament as a baseline for the 2014 Commonwealth Games and they will be keen to get their top boxers on that selection sheet, so a big entry is expected,” continued the Co. Board secretary.
“The Championships are scheduled to get underway on January 21st next year and run until Friday, January 25th.
“And we’re also delighted to announce that special a challenge match against a team from County Antrim will also be held in the Du Pont Club on Friday, December 7th next as part of the Co. Derry Board’s annual presentation show,” concluded Mr. McCann.