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Higginson can be a flyweight star, just like me, says Conlan

By David Kelly

Michael Conlan knows all about success at flyweight, having won a bronze medal at the Olympics in 2012 and now he hopes to be heading to the Commonwealth Games this summer along with 19-year-old Higginson.

Holy Trinity man Ruairi Dalton, with whom Conlan has had a few battles in the past, is the man standing in the way of Higginson who is looking lean and sharp after moving down from bantamweight.

But Dalton said: "You can't put muscles on a chin and you can quote me on that. I'm looking forward to the final."

Conlan, though, believes Higginson has the tools to land his first elite title.

Conlan, now the top Irish bantamweight, said: "Ruairi's a good wee fighter but I think Sean is the better boxer and that will be the difference.

"Sean has moved down from bantamweight and I think that was a good move because I'm going to be unbeaten this year!

"He's been working very hard and as long as he keeps his composure and sticks to his boxing he'll win it.

"It would be a big boost for his chances of going to the Commonwealth Games and for the club to have two men going to Glasgow as well as my dad being one of the coaches would be fantastic.

"Sean won the Irish Under-18 title last year and he's very tall for the weight so when he sits down on his punches he can hit very hard. It should be a good final."

While Higginson-Dalton is one of the eye-catching finals on the card, the contest of the night could come at light-welterweight when Holy Trinity's Sean Duffy and Gleann's Paul Hyland lock horns.

Hyland was given a disputed verdict over Mark O'Hara in the semi-finals, though Conlan says he felt it was the right decision.

Conlan added: "I thought that Hyland deserved the decision against O'Hara – I thought he was landing the better punches.

"Now Hyland faces Sean Duffy and I think it'll be a cracker of a fight but Duffy will probably win it. Both guys were Commonwealth Games youth medal winners with me in 2008 so I know they are two good guys."

It's also a big night for Lisburn's Kurt Walker as he bids for his first Ulster elite title when he faces Gary McKenna at bantamweight.

Finals: 49kg: TJ Waite (Cairn Lodge) v Blaine Dobbins (St Joseph's).

52kg: Ruairi Dalton (Holy Trinity) v Sean Higginson (SJB Belfast).

56kg: Gary McKenna (Old School) v Kurt Walker (Canal).

60kg: Joe Fitzpatrick (Immaculata) v Marc McLaughlin (Dockers).

64kg: Sean Duffy (Holy Trinity) v Paul Hyland (Gleann).

69kg: Stephen Donnelly (All Saints) v Conor Doherty (Holy Trinity).

75kg: Conor Coyle (St Joseph's) v JP Delaney (Immaculata).

81kg: Padraig McCrory (Gleann) v Sean McGlinchey (Oakleaf).

91kg: Stephen Ward (Monkstown) w/o.

91kg+: Jason Barton (Holy Trinity) v Colin McCabe (Ligoniel).

Belfast Telegraph


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