Weekend amateur round-up: McComb shines, Nevin steps up, Okungbowa continues hot streak

It was a busy weekend for Irish amateur fighters all over Europe.

The main focus was in Germany on Saturday night, with the opening fixture of the Bundesliga season.

Four Irish boxers have signed with BSK Hannover-Seelce, and three were in action at ‘home’ against’ Chemnitz 94.

Sean McComb, stepping up to light welter, scored a hugely impressive dominant victory over Jonas Stann, which was said to have attracted the attention of German journalists after a classy three rounds.

However there were defeats for teenage stars Stevie McKenna and John Joyce.

Monaghan bantamweight McKenna was edged out on a spit decision by the experienced German international Robert Beblik in an extremely tight fight.

Kildare middleweight Joyce was then defeated by Andrey Merzlyakov.

The next Bundesliga fixture will be on January 7th against BC Straubing and Joyce, McKenna, and McComb, as well as George Bates, will be hoping to be selected for action.

On the previous night, there were mixed results over in Southern Poland at the Leszka Drogosz Memorial, which saw a Portlaoise select post two wins and five defeats.

Recent World Youth bronze medalist Michael Nevin made the step up to senior level, and the middleweight star scored a win over top Polish fighter Daniel Golebiewski

Light heavy Tony Browne of the St Michael’s club in Dublin claimed victory over Sebastian Rembecki

There was a defeat for recent Senior (Intermediate) bantamweight champ Tommy Casey, who suffered a close reversal against Adrian Kowal – in what was the first ever loss of his short career.

Senior (Elite) runner-up Thomas Carty of Glasnevin lost out to Polish super heavy Paweł Wierzbicki, while there were also defeats for Portlaoise trio Jimmy Reilly, Owen Bergin, and Jason Scully.

In slightly warmer climes, a talented Dungarvan select finished third in the medals table at the Odivelas Box Cup in Lisbon, Portugal, with two gold, one silver, and two bronze.

Athlone heavyweight Kenny Okungbowa won his two fights to take gold in the 91kg category to cap off a fine year which also saw him take Haringey Box Cup and Celtic Box Cup gold and World University Championships bronze.

St Saviours middleweight Kelyn Cassidy was even busier, and won three fights in three days to walk away with gold

Another Waterford 75kg fighter, Rhys Moran, bowed out at the semi final stage, as did his St Pauls team mate Barry Barnes, and Thurles heavy Paddy Clavin also lost his opening bout,

Middleton light heavyweight Nicky Casey was unfortunately not matched for the weekend and did not have a fight.

Thomas Boyd of Thurles reached the light welterweight final, but was beaten in the decider and had to settle for silver.

Finally, Dungarvan welter and team captain Stephen Shasby won his sole fight in Lisbon by stoppage, but due to a clerical error on the Portuguese side, he was entered into the wrong category and was therefore ineligible for a medal.

BSK Hannover-Seelce
Bundesliga (v Chemnitz 94), Hannover, Germany
56kg Stephen McKenna (Old School) lost to Robert Beblik (Chemnitz 94) 1-2
64kg Sean McComb (Holy Trinity) beat Jonas Stang (Chemnitz 94) 3-0
75kg John Joyce (St Michael’s Athy) lost to Andrey Merzlyakov (Chemnitz 94) 0-3

Portlaoise BC Select
Leszka Drogosz Memorial, Kielce, Poland
56kg Thomas Casey (St Francis)
60kg Jason Scully (Portlaoise)
75kg Owen Bergin (Portlaoise)
75kg Michael Nevin (Portlaoise)
81kg Jimmy O’Reilly (Portlaoise)
81kg Tony Browne (St Michaels Dublin)
91kg Thomas Carthy (Glasnevin)

Dungarvan select
Odivelas Box Cup, Lisbon, Portugal
64kg Thomas Boyd (Thurles BC) (B)
69kg Stephen Shasby (Dungarvan BC) (B)
75kg Rhys Moran (St Pauls Waterford) (A)
75kg Kelyn Cassidy (St Saviours Waterford) (B)
81kg Barry Barnes (St Pauls Waterford) (A)
81kg Nicky Casey (Middleton BC) (B)
91kg Kenny Okungbowa (Athlone) (A)
91kg Paddy Clavin (Thurles BC) (A)
Team Manager – Gerry O’Mahony
Coaches – Killian Walsh, James Keoghan and Timothy Keegan
R&Js – Francis Keeling and Monica Byrne

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