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Cyclone junior brewing up quite a storm

Published 16/04/2008

Shane McGuigan celebrates his victory last night
Shane McGuigan celebrates his victory last night

The physique, the body punching, the waspish aggression. It was all pure McGuigan.

With dad Barry incessantly barking the orders from the corner, welterweight Shane won on his debut in the VIS Ulster senior championships at the Dockers Club last night.

The quarter-finals of the championships had not seen expectation quite like it as the man who once ruled the featherweight division led his 17-year-old son into the ring.

Few amateurs can have ever had such a weight of pressure so it's just as well he has the broad McGuigan shoulders to take the strain and a cool head to know that the hyperbole is just something he has to live with.

"We try to treat each fight as a spar, that's the way we look at it. it's an education, another learning process and that seems to work," says Barry.

For those packed into the Dockers Club the question on their lips was 'Could he fight?'.

After four dominant rounds we had an emphatic answer: he certainly can.

Indeed, he could well go all the way in his first year, though James Ferrin of Holy Family will have something to say about that tomorrow night when they battle for a place in Thursday week's finals.

McGuigan, who remembers late uncle Dermot with a message on his shorts, blitzed out of the corner and had Terence Garland of Holy Trinity on the back foot immediately.

A right hand over the top slammed home and had Garland buckling against the ropes but to his credit he stayed on his feet and covered up for the greater part of the round.

The intense pressure continued in the second round as McGuigan planted his feet and ripped home some very impressive left hooks to Garland's ribs. Leading 10-0 victory was his.

It was not a night to be critical but dad Barry - the Clones Cyclone - will no doubt be looking for him to make better use of his jab, just as he did sporadically in the third.

Warned for dropping his shoulder, McGuigan continued to dominant and in the final round he handed out quite a beating to the brave but outgunned Garland.

Such was the one-sided nature of the final two minutes it was surprising that referee Sadie Duffy did not hand out any counts to Garland as he reeled from the onslaught.

A father and son embrace greeted the final bell and a 27-5 victory.

"I was a bit nervous, you're always nervous but once the bell goes I'm focused because it's a lonely place in there," said Shane, who only started boxing competitively just over a year ago.

"I know that I have a long way to go and you know I look up to these guys because they have won much more than me."

Meanwhile, Dungloe's Cathal McCauley moved through to the quarter-finals of the welterweight division when he comfortably defeated Michael Bustard of Monkstown 13-3.

McCauley will now meet Thomas Duddy of Ring, while the other quarter-final will see Shane McKeown of Sacred Heart Newry against David Walsh of St John's.

In the fight of the night, Marc McCullough used all his skill to outfox Gleann's Paul Hyland, taking a 16-5 decision.

McCullough of Cairn Lodge held a 7-3 lead at the midway point but then moved up a gear and whipped home his flashy combinations before gliding away from Hyland's counter blows and he now goes through to a mouthwatering semi-final with Carl Frampton.

In the other 57kg quarter-final, Eamonn Finnegan defeated Oliver Plunkett club-mate Tyrone McKenna 16-6.

Finnegan now faces John Cooley for third year running with the score at 1-1.

Chris Rice of Immacuata used his reach to outbox Tommy Long of Oakleaf, winning 20-14 to make the flyweight semi-finals.

At lightweight Sonny Upton of Holy Family stopped Mark Ginley of Oliver Plunkett in the first round due to a damaged nose, while champion Barry McCafferty defeated Donall Burns of Gleann 15-7.

Kevin Doherty of Ring moved through to the last four of the light-welters, defeating Michael McLaughlin of Carndonagh 14-4.

Belfast Telegraph

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