While the big cards in Boston, Philly, New York – as well as Amy Broadhurst’s Euro U22 gold – taking much of the attention over St Patrick’s Weekend, there was another set of big performances that went under the radar.
An Ulster High Performance select would dominate a New York team in the Big Apple on Friday night.
The Irish boxers claimed a 7-2 win from the away corner on the ‘Pummelling on the Pier – Part 2: The Shillelagh Showdown’ fight card.
The contest was notable as it marked the returns of major medallists Kurt Walker at featherweight, back from a broken thumb suffered in the EU Championships in November, and Brendan Irvine at flyweight who has been out since the Ireland v India international last May. The Antrim duo claimed wins over Anthony Fuentes and Geraldo Vasquez respectively.
The biggest win on the night, however, came from Belfast flyweight Carly McNaul. The reigning Irish champion and Commonwealth silver medallist beat top American Christina Cruz. McNaul stepped temporarily up to bantam for the night to beat the PanAmerican Championships gold, silver, and bronze and double World Championships bronze medallist on a split decision.
There was another big knockout for teenage light heavy Paul McCullagh over Fabio Guzman while his fellow Ulster champions Karol Dlugosz, Eugene McKeever, Barry McReynolds and James McGivern all also posted wins against Mark Sinatra, Christian Cangelosi, Dominique Crowder, and Allesio Cangelosi respectively.
Losses on the night came for youngsters Jack O’Neill and JP Hale against Andy Dominguez and John Leonardo.
The team would have time off to enjoy New York afterwards, with the majority taking in the big Top Rank show at The Theater at Madison Square Garden headlined by Belfast’s Mick Conlan.