Banbridge ABC boxer Sean Casey was crowned Ulster 9 Counties Boy 14 years, 75kg Champion at the Eglington community centre in Derry, which took place over two weekends.
Sean had to box two contests to claim the title.
First up for Sean, in his semi final contest was the current Irish Champion Brendan McParland from St John’s Bosco Newry, who was heavily tipped as the favourite to be the overall winner of this weight category.
However, young Casey had other ideas and entered the contest full of confidence following his recent victory over Newry boxer, Jack O’Doherty, in Dunbarton Bowling Club, Gilford.
Sean gave the best performance of his young career to defeat McParland on a split decision. Sean’s controlled aggression and combination punching kept McParland on the back foot thoughout the contest, and this higher work rate swayed a close but deserved verdict in Casey’s favour to put him through to the final.
In the final Sean was up against the current Antrim Champion Pearse Hughes from St Paul’s Belfast.
Hughes, a south paw was an awkward opponent, with versatile upper body movement and an elusive chin.
However, Sean boxed to plan and landed the big scoring right coupled with his consistent defensive left jab and Hughes simply couldn’t get through.
Round one was a positive scoring round for Casey. Round two, though scrappy and low scoring, Casey was using his superior reach to great advantage and had got a valuable lead.
It was all there to box for in the last round and Casey moved into a commanding central position from the bell. It was all or nothing and Casey meant business.
The final hammer thuds sounded the last ten seconds and the cornermen looked pleased. A good sign and when the referee raised Casey’s hand in the air, the Banbridge support applauded the new Nine Counties Champion.
Sean will contest the Ulster Championships in March and Coach Sean McKay is keen to make note of this tremendous achievement,
“This was a tremendous achievement for Sean to win his first Ulster open title. Sean has improved immensely over the last few months and with further tuition he will have a bright future in boxing.”