INTERNATIONAL boxing returns to the city this evening when Oakleaf Amateur Boxing Club entertain a top class Canadian team, St Catherine’s from Ontario at the Maldron Hotel.
The eight strong squad arrived in the city on Tuesday includes boxers at heavyweight, middleweight, welterweight, lightweight and youth bantamweight.
Canadian team manager, Bruce Greenlaw, when speaking to the ‘Journal’ said the whole team of boxers, coaches and guests have been ‘astounded by the hospitality shown to us during our visit to Derry’.
“We had a reception with the Mayor in the Guildhall yesterday evening and we are taking part in the St Patrick’s Day Festival on Saturday, which is very much appreciated,” said Mr Greenlaw. “I guess the hospitality will stop for a while on Friday evening,” he laughed.
Oakleaf chairman Gerard McGilloway recalled when St Catherine’s BC previously boxed in Derry back in 2011 in what proved to be one of the best boxing tournaments seen in the city for many a year, adding that if tonight’s show is half as good as that, it’s set up to be ‘a cracker’.
Callum Toland fresh from his excellent showing at the Irish University Championships, takes on Bruno Desrouchers and both men have similar all-action styles. This one could be a contender for fight of the night.
K1 star, Eamon Deane, who has recently tried his hand at boxing under IABA rules and with great success, will tackle Ontario middleweight Denis Steingart.
The Creggan man has already beaten this year’s and indeed last year’s Ulster senior champions, in his first two contests. Deane’s strength and aggression, pitted against Steingart’s boxing style, makes this the classic boxer v fighter contest.
Tom Stokes won four underage Irish titles for Oakleaf but now boxing out of St John’s, Swatragh will box the tough-looking Mario Koutroulkis. Southpaw, Stokes will certainly have to use all his boxing skills to keep the Canadian at bay.
Besides the International bouts the Oakleaf club have put together an excellent supporting bill. Rising stars, Sean Devenney and Adam McIvor, Troy Bell, Roger Gilbanks and KB O’Donnell will all feature.
Boxing commences at 8pm sharp. Admission is £8 and £5 payable at door. Punters are advised to arrive early, as a full house is expected.
Meanwhile, Oakleaf’s Brett McGinty produced an impressive debut performance at Elite level against USA pin-up boy and world ranked No. 4, Troy Isnor at the Royale Complex, Boston.
Representing the Ireland team, Brett lost the 75kg clash 3-0 but matched the American for the three rounds and will no doubt take plenty from the bout and step-up in class. The USA recorded eight wins in the 12 bout international. Brett returned to the ring last night in Manchester, New Hampshire for the second international against the USA.
Exhibition - Lucas McIvor (Oakleaf) v John Cochrane (Carrickmore); 33kg - Sean Devenny (Oakleaf) v Jamie Graham (Clonard); 50kg - Troy Bell (Oakleaf) v Bronna McMahon (Carrickmore); 54kg - Roger Gilbanks (Oakleaf) v Sean Kearney (Clonard); 85kg - Kevin Barry (O’Donnell) Oakleaf v Reece Watson Waterside; 54kg - Nail Devenny Oakleaf v Matt Ryan (Canada); 69kg - Finbarr Donaghy (Carrickmore) v Jake Isnor (Canada); 75kg - Tom Myers (Sligo) v Cody Huff (Canada);
Exhibition - Ebnie Kelly (Oakleaf) v Hanna Masterson (Clonard); 44.5kg - Adam McIvor (Oakleaf) v Carlo Natrantonio (Clonard); 69kg - Tom Stokes (St John’s) v Mario Koutroulakis (Canada); 69kg - Nathan Watson (Saint’s) v Dan Ryan (Canada); 91kg - Damian O’Boyle (Sean McDermot) v Matt Cooper (Canada); 60kg - Callum Toland (Oakleaf) v Bruno Desrochers (Canada); 75kg - Eamon Deane (Oakleaf) v Denis Steingart (Canada).
Canadian Officials - Team Manager, Bruce Greenlaw; Coaches, Joe Corrigan, John Robertson, Paul Zahra, Ray Riley; Oakleaf Officials - Team Manager, Joe Cunningham; Coaches, Eugene O’Kane Jr, Christy Doherty, Eunan Devenney,
Kevin McGilloway, Phil O’Donnell, Eamon McCauley.
Derry Officials - Tournament Inspector, Eugene Duffy; Officials appointed by Derry Boxing Board; Kevin Duffy,
Jim Knox, Gerry Wilson, Denis McCann, Phillip Wilson, Ciaran McDermott, Sean Duffy (Armagh), Martha Morris (Leitrim).