Barry O’Hara came through a cracking contest with Michael Glendenning to claim the lightweight title at the Ulster Intermediate championships last night.
O’Hara, from Immaculata, had to dig deep as the Errigal man made him fight every second for victory before a packed crowd in the home of Ulster boxing, the Dockers Club.
O’Hara, the shorter of the two, made a fast start as he shuffled in and landed his hooks to body and head and it wasn’t until the last minute of the opening round that Glendenning started to find his range.
The Mac man led 7-5 going into the second round which proved to be one of the best three-minute periods of the championships as both men landed plenty of leather.
Glendenning speared home his right hands and seemed to have closed the gap early in the second but then O’Hara responded with his short hooks and took a 12-9 lead into the final round.
The pace was unrelenting as they went toe-to-toe and unloaded some terrific shots right up to the bell but 18-year-old O’Hara got the nod.
O’Hara said: “I lost in the Antrim Intermediates last year and I was gutted, I took five months off but then I got the hunger back and I have been training very hard.
“This year I lost in the Antrim quarter-finals to James Tennyson who went on to win them but I kept training hard and I have turned it all around.
“It was a tough contest and he fought very well but I thought in the end that I did enough. Now I’ve got the Irish Intermediates next week and then the Ulster Seniors.”
Joel Scullion of All Saints Ballymena was very unfortunate not to have claimed the bantamweight title but he went down 18-16 to Gary McKenna of Smithboro.
McKenna made a fast start but Scullion came storming back and they were tied at 5-5 going into the second.
Scullion appeared to have edged the second but the judges still had them all square, at 10-10.
It came down to a tight third round with both men landing well to the body but McKenna controversially nicked it.
All Saints coach Gerry Hamill said: “I can’t believe the scoring, how did they have it 10-10 after two rounds?”
Daniel McShane of St Paul’s bulldozed his way to the light-welterweight title, 10-8 after another fine contest with Thomas Waites of Toome.
After a tight opening round McShane led 2-1 and seemed to be doing the majority of the clean scoring despite giving away a great deal in height and reach.
However, a public warning for low blows handed two points to Waites and McShane only led the bout 4-3 going into the final round.
It proved to be the best round of the contest and the tigerish McShane just about deserved the 10-8 verdict.
McShane’s clubmate Gerard Matthews defeated Derek Potter to win the featherweight title, 17-5.
Potter’s Cairn Lodge clubmate TJ Waite won the light-fly title on a walkover.