THE ‘cream of the crop’ of youth and junior boxers from Ireland, Wales and Scotland will descend upon the Fir Trees Hotel in Strabane on Friday, October 25, for what is believed to be the first full international to be held in Tyrone.
Through his involvement with the Irish youth team coaching set-up, Newtownstewart’s Two Castles Boxing Club coach, John Gallagher, got talking to his Welsh and Scottish counterparts and they began to thrash out a plan to bring the best of the next generation of boxers from the three countries together.
Initially, Wales were to come over with a 14-strong squad, but once one of their team members turned pro, the organisers were a bout light. That’s when the Scots came on board and they are now bringing around eight fighters, to boost the night’s fight card to around 22 eye-catching encounters.
Without even mentioning the unbelievable talent within the Welsh and Scottish teams, the Irish fighters alone could sell this occasion out.
Amongst the Ireland team, who will fight in the Fir Trees on the night are: Chloe Gabriel, the current European Junior champion at 50kgs; Mick Donoghue, from Athy, European Junior champion at 48kgs; Dean Clancy, from Sligo, a twice Youth Olympian, twice European silver medalist and has seven or eight Irish titles; Brandon McCarthy, from Athy, an ex-European silver medalist and a 12-time Irish champion, and William Hayden, from Dublin, a European Schoolboy gold medalist.
“We have a big, big array of talent!,” beamed John. “Of all the bouts – there’s 21 or 22 in total – there are only a few without an Irish champion being involved.
“From our own club, we have Jude Gallagher, who is a European and World bronze medalist and an 11-time Irish champion, while Tiarnan Mayse is a three-time Irish champion.
“There are going to be future Olympian involved in this, it’s the cream of the crop from the three countries. It really is the best youth and junior boxers from three countries.
“All the bouts are very evenly matched and all the boys and girls are training hard.”
John and the Two Castles Club committee are hoping to attract sponsors for the event, which promises to be one those in attendance will never forget. Anyone interested in making a donation or offering sponsorship can contact John via firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 07793804819.
Also, tickets are on sale now, priced £10 each.