GAA community gathers for boxing bonanza in Coventry

GAA community gathers for boxing bonanza in Coventry

THE hottest ticket in town didn’t disappoint last weekend as the GAA community in Coventry came together for ‘The Rumble in the Concrete Jungle’ boxing tournament between Roger Casements and Four Masters. 

More than 600 spectators packed the Rialto to witness 11 bouts of boxing which had punters on the edge of their seats throughout.

It was a poignant night too for Casements' Tom Henry, who dedicated his victory over Sol Sidhu to his cousin Daniel Kirkwood after the teenager was fatally stabbed at a Coventry nightclub two weeks ago.

A minute’s applause for Kirkwood was held at the start of a night which produced fierce competition amidst friendly rivalry and an overall win for Casements as they took the final five bouts.

The showdown between Sean O’Sullivan and Owen McBride was arguably the bout of the night, a tenacious tussle between the two which went all the way to the closing moments of the final round.  The decision went for Casements’ O’Sullivan thanks to a stirring last thirty seconds.

The great trainer Emanuel Steward once remarked that his first focus with any boxer was their footwork and even in a fundraising event of this nature there was certainly evidence of GAA skills transferring to the squared circle, for those with the more flexible footwork tended to perform better.

This was epitomised by Ronan Cunningham who sealed the overall competition for Casements by demonstrating his fleet of foot against Andy Doherty.

Liam Duffy’s clash against Stephen Coen was particularly interesting. Duffy took the fight to Coen from the off, but it was ‘Ice Cream’ Coen who prevailed to take the win by decision. Regardless of the victors, all competitors demonstrated their mettle whether it be the relentless pace of Damien Harte, the iron will of Daniel Harkin or the power of Liam Harkin.

The early action included three women’s bouts on a night where over £2,000 was raised for each club.

Both clubs thanked the sponsors who contributed hugely to the event, as well as the main event sponsor JCM Civil Engineering.

Over £300 was raised through the auctioning of a pair of signed Barry McGuigan gloves, while John Fallon emerged the lucky winner in the raffle for a signed Ricky Hatton glove.