Walker and McKay roar to Ulster title joy
Kurt Walker won his bantamweight crown in impressive fashion at the Unite Ulster Elite Championships last night.
The Canal club man swept to a unanimous victory over Sean Higginson (St John Bosco) at the Dockers Club.
Walker took a close opener although Higginson found a home for his right hand and persistently tried to force the issue. Walker took over in the second session, slamming home right hands of his own with increasing regularity as the bout progressed.
Higginson was visibly tiring and shipped Walker's one-twos but his vocal supporters and trainer Gerard McCafferty, helped push the Bosco man over the line.
TJ Waite appeared unfortunate to concede the flyweight final to Canal's Jason McKay.
McKay dominated the final round as he tucked up the Cairn Lodge produce and landed hooks but Waite appeared to have bossed the first two with his superior movement and well-timed shots.
Setting McKay up with a feint and waiting for the Canal man to commit, Waite lashed home shots from both stances but the judges preferred McKay's endeavour.
Michael Glendenning claimed a deserved, unanimous decision over Sean Duffy at light-welterweight.
Errigal's Glendenning used his jab to good effect, keeping Holy Trinity's Duffy at bay for extended periods. Glendenning wasn't afraid to bite down on his gumshield and mix it in the trenches when required and both men left the ring with battle scars from an excellent contest.
Caoimhin Hynes won the battle of the Holy Trinity at middleweight against club mate Taylor McGoldrick.
The opening session was a slugfest as both men came out swinging with southpaw McGoldrick roughing up Caoimhin. Hynes added some refinement to his work in the second and settled down by anticipating McGoldrick's lunges and slipping his shots inside the gaps. McGoldrick became increasingly ragged and took a count in the third round.
St Paul's man Gerard Matthews outboxed Spartens' Connor Kerr at lightweight.
Southpaw stylist Matthews landed his shots early but stayed inside for too long and soaked up a few swings from brave Kerr. He learned his lesson from the second onwards and remained one step ahead of a fatigued Kerr.
Two Castles' Ryan Donnelly earned a surprising split decision win at light-heavyweight over Padraig McCrory. Marauding southpaw Donnelly tried to turn it into an inside scrap but Holy Trinity's McCrory was able, for the most part, to land his spearing shots at distance. McCrory's work was crisper but the judges preferred Donnelly's aggression.
JD Meli defeated Connor Doherty in the welterweight final. Skilful Immaculata man Meli was always one step ahead of his Holy Trinity opponent, using his jab and timing his punches to perfection.
Holy Trinity heavyweight Stephen McMonagle pressed Dockers boxer Thomas Copeland for the duration of their contest. Well-supported Copeland was strong and resilient but McMonagle won a split decision.
In the women's 64kg final, Sarah Close (Holy Family) stopped Joanna Barclay (Holy Family) in the first round.
In the battle of the big Holy Trinity super-heavyweights Jason Barron claimed a unanimous decision over Damien Sullivan.