Club plays host to 

Gilford Boxer Aidan Downey winner of the County Antrim Intermediate Novice Title � Edward Byrne Photography INBL41-207EB
Gilford Boxer Aidan Downey winner of the County Antrim Intermediate Novice Title � Edward Byrne Photography INBL41-207EB

Banbridge Amateur Boxing Club played host to the 2013 Armagh Down Championships over the weekend and ‘The Big Hall’ buzzed with the familiar boxing sounds of old.

This year the Championships were opened up to County Louth and this recorded the biggest ever entry of 150 boxers and a resultant 50 bouts.

Clubs were represented from across the country and the standard of boxing was something special. Dominic Doyle was the first local lad to step into the ring and he had a straight final against John Cummins of Ardee ABC. The boys were well matched and Doyle had to tap into all his well-rehearsed resources to combat the attacking style of his opponent. With the absence now of computer scoring every punch counts and Doyle was well aware of the need to move forward on the attack and step aside in defence. Doyles’ rangy style paid dividends in the second round but he had to be consistent if he was going to win. The third round was abundant with tension and drive. Doyle fought with controlled aggression and went out the winner on points and a first Title for Banbridge.

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Youngster, Louis Browne at Boy eleven years and 48kg faced St Jarlaths boxer, Curtis Cawley in the first contest of his career. Browne showed tremendous confidence for his young years and punched with enthusiasm and skill. He moved deftly out of Cawleys’ reach and his fitness saw him through a great contest. Browne took his first Title to the loud appreciation of the local crowd.

Clodagh McComiskey boxing out of Gilford ABC was too strong for her Silverbridge opponent, stopping her in the second round. Matthew Patten took a Boy Eleven years title for Gilford at 36kg and Aidan Downey took an Intermediate welter weight Title against Ards boxer, Shane McCreedy.

Conor Martin weighed in for Banbridge in the Championships but had to settle for a Title by Walkover.

Saturdays programme drew to a close after 5 hours of boxing and 32 bouts.

Excitement in the Banbridge camp was rising steadily on Sunday as the contest between, newcomer, Nash Beattie and Sean Dorans’ Keady boxer Lukas Abromavzazus drew closer. Beattie at 16 years of age has been training all year and this was his first opportunity to test his skill and ability.

The bell sounded the start of the contest and Nash took to the ring like a seasoned fighter. Abromavzazus matched Beattie with sheer aggression and punching ability. Beattie threw left hooks, straight right jabs and combinations with ease and most importantly kept his composure and his control, never forgetting to box, to move and not to get into a brawl. Beattie went out in the second round to loud local support which filled the hall and added to the exciting atmosphere. Boxing had certainly came back to its’ historic home in style!

Beattie boxed inside his opponents space with scoring effectiveness and when he added body punches in the third round, it was clear that he had done a comprehensive job. This was confirmed when the referee raised his hand to a unanimous decision and a first Title for the local lad.

A tremendous weekend of boxing ended with the much fancied meeting of Rory Lavery boxing out of Dealgan against Sean Garvey boxing out of the Sacred Heart Club. A great meeting of minds could well describe the contest with coaches, Donnelly and Murphy coming head to head in a close, exciting and powerful clash of skill, style and class. No one could call the winner until the referee raised the hand of Lavery for a Dealgan scalp and a great finish to the Championships.