Commonwealth Youth Games team to be finalised this weekend

The Northern Irish team is starting to take shape for the Commonwealth Youth Games this Summer.

The biennial Youth tournament will take place from the 18th to the 23rd of July in the Bahamas, and a six-strong squad will be sent.

Two boxers have been confirmed for the Caribbean, with a further four to be decided this weekend.

A selection competition was held at the Dockworkers Club in Belfast last month, with boxers given their first chance to impress coach John Conlan.

Fighters across ten weights (seven boys, three girls) competed, with seven finals decided in the ring and three by way of walkover.

Unfortunately for winners Colm Murphy (56kg – St George’s), Caitlin Fryers (51kg – Immaculata), Shauna O’Callaghan (60kg – Clonard), Rebecca Gilbert (75kg – Abbey), Oran McNaughton.(81kg – Dockers), they will not be making the trip this Summer

52kg winner Kian Bittles of Holy Trinity Belfast has been given the nod, while his 75kg clubmate Kane Tucker will also make the trip.

The remaining four places will be decided at the National Stadium this weekend.

At light flyweight, Liam Glennon of St Joseph’s Derry will take on Illies GG boxer John Moran in a semi-final, with the winner facing Dermot Toland of Phoenix Lurgan on Sunday. Glennon defeated Toland at the Dockers competition last month.

Errigal lightweight Dominic Bradley, winner of the Dockers competition last month, will fight Callum Bradley of Sacred Heart Omagh. Bradley’s older brother Tiernan won silver at the 2015 Games.

At 64kg, a weight not contested last month, Edgar Vuskans of Glengormley will fight recent Pavlyukov Memorial winner Aaron McKenna from Old School Monaghan. McKenna’s older brother Stevie won gold at the 2015 Games.

Gleann welterweight Anthony Johnston will box-off with St Monica’s fighter Michael Hennessy, the winner at the Dockers last month.

All five team members medalled at the Games in Apia in 2015, with Stevie McKenna, James McGivern, and Aidan Walsh taking gold, while Brett McGinty and Tiernan Bradley won silver.

In previous editions, medals were won by Carl Frampton, Patrick Murphy, Dee McComb, Sean Duffy, Paul Hyland Jr, Joe Fitzpatrick, Enda Kennedy, and Conor Doherty.

Hat-tip to Hugh O’Halloran of Belfast Boxers who originally sourced much of the above information.

LISTEN: Mick Conlan joins Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill on Episode 4 of The Irish Boxing Show

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: [email protected]