Rising boxing star Caoimhin Hynes Agyarko is tipped to shine on senior debut
Caoimhin Hynes Agyarko will make his debut as a senior boxer when he boxes in the final of the middleweight division at the Ulster Elite championships in the Dockers on Friday night. Hynes - whose mum is from Belfast and his dad from Ghana - is highly rated by experienced Holy Trinity coach Michael Hawkins, who expects the 18-year-old to go on and become a top international boxer and his rival for the title is fellow clubman Taylor McGoldrick.
Indeed, the Holy Trinity club has 10 representatives in the championships, which have the worst entry in living memory.
Coach Hawkins said: "Caoimhin has won seven Irish titles as a junior, he's been with us since he was 12 and he has developed very well. He's very dedicated, never misses training and he has a bit of everything.
"I think he has the potential to certainly go on and box for Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games. After these championships he'll turn his sights to the Irish championships, we'll put him out and see where he's at."
The poor entry for the championships comes on the back of poor entries for the Ulster and Antrim Intermediate championships, the tier below the elite boxers.
For coach Hawkins - among others - it is an unacceptable situation for the sport which is now being heavily funded by government and continues to deliver success on the international stage.
"We have 10 boxers out of an entry of around 30, so where is everyone else? I couldn't believe how small the entry was when I saw it," added Hawkins. "There's obviously something wrong and it needs to be sorted out."
The championships start tonight with the semi-finals (7.15pm) with Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Sean Duffy facing Sean Montgomery of Canal at bantamweight in what could be one of the contests of the night. Duffy's clubmate Bernaldo Marime meets Michael Glendenning of Errigal in the other last four duel. Brendan Irvine of St Paul's has a walkover at light-flyweight.
56kg: Anthony O'Rawe (Braid) v Sean Higginson (SJB Belfast)
64kg: Sean Duffy (Holy Trinity) v Sean Montgomery (Canal); Michael Glendenning (Errigal) v Bernaldo Marime (Holy Trinity)
69kg: Michael Bustard (Monkstown) v JD Meli (Immaculata)
81kg: Michael Cummings (Carrickmore) v Ryan Donnelly (Two Castles)
91kg: William Close (Abbey) v Stephen McMonagle (Holy Trinity); Charlie Boyle (Monkstown) v Thomas Copeland (Dockers).
91+kg: Damien Sullivan (Holy Trinity) v Deniss Boriskins (St Bridges)