On This Day: July 30th

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1995: Wayne McCullough upset the odds to defeat champion Yasuei Yakushiji in Nagoya and win the WBC bantamweight crown. The Pocket Rocket’s relentless style ensured him a split-decision (118-110, 115-116, 116-113) victory over the Japanesse star who was making his fifth defence of the belt. The Belfast Olympian remains the only Irishman to win a WBC World title and the only British or Irish boxer to win a World title fight in Japan.

1986: Bantamweight Roy Nash defeated Jersey’s John Sillitoe to secure silver at the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh. Nash had previously stopped Vanuatan Edouard Paulum in the quarters. The Derry man would lose in the final to England’s Sean Murphy.

2014: There was more Commonwealth bronze in Glasgow, with Alanna Audley-Murphy, Steven Donnelly, and Connor Coyle, all guaranteeing medals.

Murphy, one half of the first ever sanctioned female bout in Ireland alongside Katie Taylor, secured bronze with a split decision win over Dominican Valerian Spicer. The Belfast lightweight would be defeated in the semi finals by Aussie star Shelley Watts.

Following a disappointing Games in Delhi, Steven Donnelly got redemption in Scotland, guaranteeing bronze with a sensational win over Canadian Olympian Custio Clayton. In the earlier rounds the Ballymena welter had scored a 30second knockout over Pakistani Hassan Asif and outpointed Tonga’s Oscar Finau. In the semis Donnelly was edged out on a split decision by Indian Mandeep Jangra.

Derry middleweight Connor Coyle stormed to the semis with wins over Lesotho’s Lungile Dyamdeki, Guyanese fighter Denis Thomas, and South African Siphiwe Lusizi. In the semi finals Coyle, who recently turned pro in Florida, was defeated by Indian star Vijender Singh.

2011: Brian Magee travelled to Costa Rica to take on home favourite Jaime Barboza. Fighting in hostile territory, the Belfast super middle comfortably outpointed his light middleweight opponent (118-110, 118-111, 116-112) to win the lightly-regarded WBA ‘interim’ belt and secure further big clashes in Denmark against Rudy Markussen and eventually Mikkel Kessler.

1927: Belfast’s Tommy Connolly outpointed Limavady middleweight Joe Guy over 20 rounds at the Drill Hall in Derry for the Irish title. Connolly would subsequently defend the belt six years later in Belfast against Jack O’Brien.

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]