It was standing room only on Friday night in the Corebox Sports Arena in Randolph, Boston when the Donegal Boxing Team faced the cream of fighters from the Boston Boxing Academy.
The home team were under the guidance of former Buncrana boxer Mark Porter. There were 12 quality contests down for decision in weights ranging form 88lbs up to 165lbs.
And the lads from Tir Chonaill came away with a very convincing 10-2 victory.
The opening bout of the evening was a very worthy curtain-raiser for any major tournament with Dunree’s stylish Matthew Carlin paired with Jose Lopez at 88lbs.
This was an action packed three rounds with the Inishowen puncher recoding a worthy 5-0 points win, much to the delight of the Donegal supporters in the capacity crowd.
In bout two, Raphoe’s 103lbs puncher Aaron McDaid was was up against Brady Magais and the Strabane based schoolboy was hot favourite on the night as he went out a deserving 5-0 points win at the close of three very absorbing rounds.
Contest number three brought together Donegal’s joker on the team, talented southpaw Josh McDonagh, Dunree, who locked horns with Alex Borzel at 90lbs.
McDonagh turned in a veteran’s display of fight craft and his deadly accuracy and fancy footwork was a delight to watch. He also recorded a 5-0 points win for the Donegal team.
Bout four brought together St. Bridget’s, Clonmany’s ever improving Daniel Campbell and the highly rated Boston puncher Bryce Littevio in a match made at 152lbs.
This was to be a hard fought edge of the seat contest from the first bell to the last with Campbell punching the air with joy when his hand was raised as a 4-1 points winner. That result put the visitors 4-0 in front on the night.
Contest five was made at 100lbs and seen Letterkenny’s Paddy McShane and Boston’s Francis Scatia, a beaten finalist at this year’s Golden Gloves Championships, collide.
This was McShane at his very best as the former four-time National Champion showed all his guile and skill. His quick fire fist action was superb as he took another bout in Donegal’s favour by 4-1.
Fight six was a real battle of guts and courage at 130lbs when Carndonagh’s granite jawed Dean Doherty was up against the hammer handed Antonio Osorio.
And it was the Boston southpaw’s pinpoint accuracy that proved to be the telling factor in this contest as he recorded Boston’s first win on the night with a 5-0 points win.
In the 145lbs division, Liam McMonagle faced the rugged Issiah Cruz. The Lifford student used his height and reach advantage to good effect as he recorded a 5-0 points verdict.
Bout eight brought together Carn’s talented Andrew Cunningham and Boston’s Mickey Vasquez at 138lbs and again, it was non-stop action for all of the three very hard rounds.
The Carn puncher went on to record a deserving 5-0 points victory.
Contest nine was Dunfanaghy’s powerful Oisin Wallace crossing paths with big Boston student Marcus Kabucho at 160lbs and both boxers gave it their all for three very close rounds.
At the final bell it was the Donegal man that took a split decision verdict 3-2.
In the 130lbs division, Clonmany’s Adam McDaid was up against Boston’s Keno Luna.
McDaid turned in a vintage display of accurate counter-punching on his way to a 5-0 points win.
The first and only stoppage of the night came when Cillian Boyce locked horns with the much talked about Kevin Rodriguez at 132lbs.
The ever reliable Letterkenny lad was always in command and when his opponent received his third standing count in round 3, the referee stopped the contest to save the gutsy Boston boxer any further punishment.
The final contest of the evening brought together Convoy’s four-time national champion Bryan McNamee and the US marine Mike Fontanez at 165lbs.
Both boxers exploded into action at the sound of the first bell.
They tested the weight of each others punches as both boxers traded some hefty combinations.
There was no reverse gear in either fighter as they gave it their all right up until the final bell with the Boston puncher recording a 4-1 points verdict.
When both fighters left the ring they received thunderous applause.
For their outstanding bout, they each were presented with ring size trophies after this clash was declared the Fight of the Night.
There was disappointment for Convoy schoolboy boxer Pearse McBride whose opponent failed to make it to the venue on the night and Odhran McGinley, Dunfanaghy, who couldn’t be matched with a suitable opponent.
The Donegal Boxing President, Peter O’Donnell, was high in his praise for all the boxers, coaches and officials.
He said to travel to the US with 14 boxers and get 12 quality contests was very impressive. And to come away with 10 wins to 2 over a star-studded Boston Academy side was a brilliant feat.
He said: “I would like to extend a special thank you to the Donegal County Council who made this trip possible for the Donegal Boxing team.
“To Marty and Stephen O’Reilly, who supplied the gear for the boxers and officials, thank you. Thanks also to the local press for all their excellent coverage.
“This was a trip of a lifetime for all the young boxers who did their county proud inside and outside of the ring. To our good friends in Boston, Mark Porter, Timmy Staunton and Patrick Bradley, a sincere thank you for everything you’ve done for the team.”