Debuts and Comebacks – New Belfast show announced


A new show has been added to the Irish boxing calendar as the tail-end of 2018 starts to fill up.

It has been confirmed this evening that a six-fight card will take place in Belfast on Saturday November 17th.

Boxing Ireland and Alio Wilton have teamed up along with Scottish outfit Prospect Boxing to put on a card – ‘Back in Belfast‘ – at the Shorts Sports and Recreation Club on the Holywood Road.

Wilton ran two shows at the atmospheric East Belfast venue in November 2016 and March 2017 but has not run a card since.

In the interim, Boxing Ireland along with Tony Davitt have ran an unprecedented six shows in Dublin as part of the ‘Celtic Clash’ series.

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The card next month will be headlined by Belfast flyweight Luke Wilton [17(7)-5(1)-1]. The 30-year-old former British and Commonwealth title challenger has not fought since the last Wilton bill and will be looking to get back into the domestic titles mix, starting with a six rounder here.

The undercard features two debuts – Larne super featherweight Kelvin McDonald and Belfast super fly and kickboxing star Cathy McAleer.

McAleer’s fight will be the first woman’s bout to take place in Belfast since double world title challenger Christina McMahon defeated Lana Cooper at The Devenish on the first Celtic Clash card just over five years ago.

Also appearing will be Belfast welterweight Tony Nellins [3(0)-0-1] who was last seen in March of last year scrappiing to a four-round draw with England’s Ross Jameson in one of the most incredible fights to take place in Ireland in 2017.

Antrim Town cruiser Conor Cooke [1(1)-0] returns to the ring following an impressive debut during the Summer in Dublin and the former MMA star is looking to quickly build into all-Irish fights.

Finally there is also a slot for Scottish cruiser David Jamieson [1(1)-0] who debuted last month with a second round stoppage.

Boxing Ireland boss Leonard Gunning said that “It’s been in the pipeline for a while but I’m finally delighted to be ‘Back in Belfast’ on November 17th with Team Alio and Paul Graham of Prospect Boxing from Scotland at the Shorts Sports and Social Club.”

“We’ve run a number of shows in Dublin over the past 18 months so it’s great to be branching out into Belfast where the ‘Celtic Clash’ series began in 2013. Belfast is a huge boxing city and the home of pro boxing in Ireland, so we’ve wanted to go back there for a while, especially since Dennis Morrison returned from Australia.”

“I’ve always had a good relationship with Alan Wilton and we are in contact all the time so when he asked if we were interested in doing a co-promotion I jumped at the chance because he’s a guy I trust and respect. So I’m really excited to see what we can deliver and I’m sure November 17th is a going to be another great night.”

“You can’t pull the wool over Belfast fans’ eyes so all the lads, and lady, will have really competitive opponents next month. That’s what the boxers need and that’s what the fans in Belfast demand so it’s up to us to deliver that. If it’s half as good as the last show we had in Belfast then they are in for a treat.”

The card looks set to kick off a busy period for boxing in Ireland with ‘Celtic Clash 7’ due to take place in Drimnagh on Saturday November 24th whle a Friday December 7th show in Castlebar ran by Assassin Boxing is also said to be in the pipeline.

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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: joneill6@tcd.ie