Magee relishes bid to emulate his dad
Eamonn Magee will tonight bid to follow in the footsteps of his dad, Eamonn snr, and claim the Ulster senior light-welterweight title.
It may not be in the iconic, traditional venue of the Ulster Hall but the 18-year-old says it will be a special moment if he can defeat Toome’s Jamie Kennedy.
The Immaculata lad made the decider after pulling off an upset victory over defending light-welterweight champion Tyrone McKenna in the semi-finals of the Sport NI Ulster Elite championships in the Emerald Roadhouse.
Magee, whose dad has been training him along with Mac head coach Nugget Nugent, squeezed through to face Kennedy at the same venue after an absorbing contest went his way 15-14.
There was very little between the two and after the opening round they were tied at 5-5. Oliver Plunkett lad McKenna made life very awkward for Magee with his huge height and reach advantage — landing with his rangy shots and tying up the teenager at close quarters.
Going into the final three minutes, McKenna was 10-9 ahead though a quick burst from Magee seemed to even up matters early on in the round.
Both men landed good shots as the clock ticked down, though Magee’s eye-catching three-punch combinations seemed to sway it his way.
Magee said: “If I can win the final it would be the best feeling in the world — to do what my dad did would just be fantastic, very special.
“I have fought Kennedy twice before — he beat me four weeks ago in the Irish intermediates 26-23 and last year I beat him. So, it’s going to be a tight fight again,
but from the last time we boxed I’m an awful lot fitter.
“I know what to expect from him and if I’m sharp, then I know I can win it.”
As for his victory over McKenna, he said: “I thought I had done enough at the end of the fight. Going into the last round I wasn’t worried because I knew how fit I was and I knew I was able to keep up the pace.
“I threw a few silly shots but, overall, I felt that I did the more work. Now I just have to stay focused and win the final.”
Kennedy found himself 8-6 ahead in his semi-final with Kevin McIntyre of St Joseph’s, Derry and there continued to be little between the two in the second round.
Kennedy led 13-12 going into the last three minutes when both men fought to a virtual standstill but Kennedy just about deserved his 24-20 victory which has set up an exciting final this evening.
The lightweight decider between James Fryers of Immaculata and James Tennyson of St Paul’s should also be a cracker.
Finals (8pm): Flyweight: Joe Fitzpatrick (Immaculata) v Ruairi Dalton (Holy Trinity).
Light: James Fryers (Immaculata) v James Tennyson (St Paul’s).
Light-welter: Eamonn Magee (Immaculata) v Jamie Kennedy (Toome).
Welter: Terry Garland (Holy Trinity) v Paul Upton (Holy Family).
Light-heavy: JP Delaney (Immaculata) v Conor Coyle (St Joseph’s Derry).
Heavyweight: Tommy McCarthy (Oliver Plunkett) v Sean Crudden (Derrylin).