DERRY amateur boxers, Sean McGlinchey and Marc McLaughlin are confident they will be crowned 2016 Ulster champions tomorrow night at the Ulster Elite Boxing Championships in Bellinis, Newry.
The Championships began in the Dockerworkers Social Club, Belfast on Monday night and McLaughlin edged his way into the 60kgs final after a split decision win over Seamus Og Deeds.
Representing the Dockers Club, McLaughlin was at a size disadvantage but his aggressive, southpaw style helped him to get inside and trade shots.
Deeds scored with some good counters, but it was McLaughlin who was doing the better work, throwing combinations up close and looking for the uppercut regularly and he eventually did enough to advance to the final.
McLaughlin (23), who hails from Aberfoyle in the city, was happy to avoid the bye into the final as it allowed him to ‘dust the cobwebs off’.
He admitted it was a tough semi-final bout and claimed he needs to ‘sharpen up’ going into tomorrow’s final against former Ulster Senior champion, Anthony O’Rawe.
I’m into the final on Thursday so I just have to be smart, be sharp and fight hard and get the win!Marc McLaughlin
“My semi-final was tough against a very awkward opponent,” said McLaughlin.
“I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy fight, but I out-worked him going forward as he was a taller, rangy fighter.
“I was glad I didn’t get the bye to the final as it allowed me to dust the cobwebs off.
“I’m into the final on Thursday so I just have to be smart, be sharp and fight hard and get the win!
“I’ve never seen him (O’Rawe) box but I heard he’s good and he’s a former senior champion. So it will be a good contest but I’m confident in my boxing ability.”
Third time lucky for McGlinchey?
Meanwhile 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, Sean McGlinchey is determined to make up for lost time and secure his first Ulster title tomorrow night.
The Oakleaf ABC light-heavyweight received a bye into tomorrow’s final and will be up against talented West Belfast soutpaw, JP Delaney who impressed with a unanimous decision win over Carrickmore’s Michael Cummings in their light-heavyweight semi-final.
McGlinchey is hoping it will be a case of third time lucky having missed out in the last two Ulster Senior Championships through injury.
“Delaney has come up from 75kgs so it’s sure will be a tough fight but I am ready for it,” claimed McGlinchey.
“I have prepared well for it and will go into the fight tomorrow to give 110 per cent.”
Strabane’s Caroline Connolly (Mourne Golden Gloves), meanwhile, will take on Maeve McCarron of Carrigart in the final of the women’s super heavyweight division.