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McComb edges out Hawkins in thriller

Dean McComb made it a family double at the Ulster Intermediate Championships in the Dockers Club last night — but only by the narrowest of margins.

After a bantamweight thriller, McComb of Immaculata and Michael Hawkins of Holy Trinity were locked at 8-8 and when the computer scoring went to a countback of punches they were still tied, at 17-17. The result went down to the votes of the five judges and McComb took the 54kg title on a split decision, 3-2.

The pattern was set in the first round as both men unloaded plenty of leather before a deafening noise from the packed crowd and after the second it seeemed that Hawkins was just ahead, but the scoring was 6-6.

The third round was quite frenetic as Hawkins tried to pick his shots while McComb drove forward with a tight guard unloading his combinations and at the finish the tight scoring reflected a memorable battle.

McComb’s victory came immediately after brother Gavin had won the flyweight title in another sizzling contest, defeating Joel Scullion of All Saints, 9-6.

The Immaculata success continued when John Meli took the featherweight title and once more it was after an enthralling duel which could have gone either way.

Eddie Nesbitt of Belfast Kronk clearly lost the opening round as Meli picked him with solid straight blows, going 4-0 ahead.

But Nesbitt started to work his way back into the contest and despite trailing 5-1 going into the final round he forced Meli to take two standing counts with his relentless aggression, but the Mac man edged it 7-6.

A quartet of winners for the Mac was completed when Eamonn Magee jnr defeated fellow southpaw Paul Kelly of Twin Towns in the light-welterweight final, 3-1.

Belfast Telegraph