IABA Press Officer Bernard O’Neill
Gary Sweeney will be just one of the exciting new wave of talented young Irish boxers in action when the 2011 National Intermediate Championships Finals get underway at Dublin’s National Stadium on Friday evening.
Sweeney, 18, who claimed silver at the 2011 European Youth Championships in Dublin, meets Donegal cruiserweight Denis O’Donnell over three,three minute rounds at the home of Irish boxing.
The Riverstown, Holy Family, Bray and Immaculata clubs in Cork, Drogheda, Wicklow and Belfast have two representatives each in Friday’s finals.
David Roche and Mark Fitzpatrick line out for the Riverstown club versus Bray’s Stephen Coughlan and Paul Upton of the Holy Family GG in Belfast.
Ted Barry, who will be working the Riverstown corner along with his brother Brian, hailed the performances of the Leesiders at the Championships so far.
“Mark and David have been boxing out of their skins at the Intermediate Championships and we are quietly confident going into Friday’s finals. Everyone in the club is looking forward to the finals and it promises to be a very exciting night for the Riverstown club,” said Barry.
Barry O’Hara and JP Delaney will carry the ambitions of the Immaculata BC at the South Circular Road venue. Seventeen-year-old O’Hara, who claimed the John Creany belt for best boxer at the Ulster Championships, meets Jason Conroy of the Crumlin BC and Delaney will trade leather with St Anne’s stand out Eamon Walsh.
“I’m expecting big things of him. I think he (Jason Conroy) will stand and fight with Barry, he’s more of a fighting man. It will be tight stuff with loads of good heavy shots, ” Immaculata coach Gerry Nugent told the Irish News.
Nugent also has high hopes for Delaney.
“He has big, fast hands. Very fast hands, a good boxing brain. Hard to catch and his fast hands are working a treat now.”
Meanwhile, either Chris Blaney or Bernard Roe will leave the National Stadium with the coveted middleweight belt adorning their waist from a 75Kg showdown which has the potential to be one of the contests of the Championships.
Elsewhere on an action-packed finals night, Jamie Higgins and Hughie Myres go head-to-head for the 51Kg title.
Poland-born Kris Sekora flies the flag for the St Francis BC in Limerick. Sekora, who staged a remarkable comeback in the semi-finals last weekend, faces Donegal’s Danny Tourish in what should be a cracking heavyweight contest.
Rosemary Doherty and Michelle Chambers clash in the first of the women’s finals on Friday.