2017 Commonwealth Youth Games team confirmed

The six-man boxing team that will represent Northern Ireland at the upcoming Commonwealth Youth Games has been officially confirmed.

The Games take place on the Caribbean islands of the Bahamas between July 18th and 23rd.

Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Council (NICGC) chairman, Robert McVeigh said that “it’s a great honour for these young athletes to represent Northern Ireland at such a prestigious global event.

“Our planning has been in progress for quite some time and, over the next couple of months, we will continue to make sure that all the athletes and coaches are suitably prepared so that they can perform to the best of their ability.

“NICGC acknowledges the ongoing support given to athletes by their respective governing bodies and SportNI. We wish them every success.”

The boxing panel was chosen following a selection tournament and subsequent box-offs in Belfast and Dublin respectively

Holy Trinity duo Kane Tucker (75kg) and Kian Bittles (56kg) were selected following the first tournament, and the box-offs would see John Moran (49kg), Dominic Bradley (60kg), Edgar Vuskas (64kg), and Anthony Johnston (69kg) triumph.

The only change to this team comes at light welter, with Vuskas being forced to withdraw. The Glengormley boxer will be replaced by Aaron McKenna of Old School BC in Monaghan – who had withdrawn from their scheduled box-off.

McKenna recently won gold at the Nikolay Pavlyukov memorial (the ‘Mini World Championships’), while his elder brother Stevie won gold at the previous edition of the Commonwealth Youths.

None of the six will compete at the upcoming National U18 Championships which begin this weekend.

All five team members medalled at the Games in Apia, Samoa, in 2015, with McKenna, James McGivern, and Aidan Walsh taking gold, while Brett McGinty and Tiernan Bradley won silver.

In previous editions, medals were won by Carl Frampton, Patrick Murphy, Dee McComb, Sean Duffy, Paul Hyland Jr, Joe Fitzpatrick, Enda Kennedy, and Conor Doherty.

Commonwealth Youth Games
Northern Ireland Team

49 – John Moran (Illies GG)
52 – Kian Bittles (Holy Trinity)
60 – Dominic Bradley (Errigal)
64 – Aaron McKenna (Old School)
69 – Anthony Johnston (Gleann)
75 – Kane Tucker (Holy Trinity)

Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill on Episode 4 of The Irish Boxing Show

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: [email protected]