The ‘Newry Klitschkos’- Tucker brothers pass first milestone on the path to Paris

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The ‘Newry Klitschkos’ are two brothers with big ambitions.

Having become the first brothers to win Ulster Elites Championships on the same night in 20 years, the Tuckers now want to become the first brothers to represent Ireland in the Olympics.

Toyko 2020 – if it goes ahead – isn’t a double act goal, rather the talented siblings have elected to remain amateur and have targeted a historic Parisian procession.

The older of the two, Kane, 20, still holds 2020 hopes, but regardless of whatever happens this Summer, he will retain the vest with a trip to Paris and 2024 on his mind.

The light heavyweight, who could quite possibly be that bit bigger in four years, hopes to reach the 35th Olympiad and is hopeful his younger brother, middleweight Jake, will join him.

“We both have the same goal and that’s to represent Ireland at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

“I’m still pushing for the second qualifier and should I get the opportunity for the second competition I’ll be 100% ready,” Kane told Irish-boxing.com.

“Paris for Jake is his goal currently and Harry Hawkins is building him slowly to peak for this and the Commonwealth Games in 2022 in Birmingham. We are both hoping to represent Ireland at the 2024 Olympics and will be ready come this time.”

There is a lot of work to be done to ensure Olympic qualification and four years is a long time in boxing, but both are well placed at this stage of their development, points out the older of the two.

“We both have been training in the High Performance Unit together recently and it’s great to have Jake down. He’s one of the most skillful boxers I have trained with and can see him developing all the time.”

Both brothers have represented Ireland at every underage level from schoolboy and boast 17 national titles between them.

A host of young stars with similar CVs have turned over recently, but the Tuckers want to truck on in their vest for four more years.

“Currently Kane is focused on Tokyo 2020 and is training hard in High Performance, Jake is currently training hard for the Commonwealth Games in 2022,” adds proud father Barry.

“The jump to senior boxing has been made significantly easier with Harry Hawkins as coach. Harry has a wealth of experience in both amateur and professional boxing and his advice and guidance in making the jump to senior level has been invaluable.”

Experienced coach Hawkins, who manned the corner during Bernard Dunne’s reign, isn’t one for long term predictions, but is happy with what the teem duo have achieved to date.

“Just to emphasise the great achievement it was to win the Ulster’s given the fact that they are only 18 and 19. At the beginning of the season our plan was to gain as much elite level experience as possible. But for Kane to go and represent Ireland at the world elites and then both lads win the Ulster Elites in their first season at senior level, really was something special.”

There is a host of young talent emerging and the landscape in four years time could look completely different, but there is a degree of spotlight on the Tuckers at present.

Not only have they impressed throughout their underage careers, but they became the first brothers to win Ulster titles on the same nice since Liam and Harry Cunningham – at light fly and flyweight – in 2000.

Teen middleweight Jake reveals they entered the prestigious tournament with individual goals, but were delighted with the combined element of their wins.

“We entered the Ulsters with winning in mind like any other competition. We only realised the historic fact afterwards. It’s great for us as brothers to train together and push each other to the limit as we are both similar weights.”

“It was a memorable night in the Ulster Hall. It’s only thinking back on it now that how special it was for us both to win on the same night. “

dpg

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: [email protected]