Ulster pair stay on the medal trail
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Steven Donnelly and Eamonn Finnegan continued
the Northern Ireland success at the Commonwealth
boxing championships in Liverpool yesterday.
who has moved up to lightweight, sealed at least
bronze when he won his quarter-final contest with
Scotland's Joe Kelso 37-19.
The All Saints ABC lad got off to a fine start and
was 6-2 ahead after the opening two minutes as his
quick hands and sharp footwork gave the Scot plenty
Donnelly found Kelso a little harder to handle in
the second round, though he still edged it 9-7.
Then came the crucial third when Donnelly managed to
pick off his opponent with some great
Kelso knew that at the midway point he had to be
more aggressive but Donnelly simply measured him up
and made him pay and he took the round 13-3.
Donnelly will now meet England's Tom Stalker in
today's semi-finals when Finnegan, Eamonn O'Kane and
Paddy Barnes all box for a place in the finals.
Donnelly said: "I'm delighted with my performance.
The third round was crucial."
Stalker was a surprise winner over former Ulster
senior champion Brian Gillen, now boxing for Wales,
Gillen, who used to box for Holy Trinity, had hoped
to progress to an 'all-Ulster' showdown with
Featherweight Finnegan produced the win of his
career when he overcame a Malaysian E Kalai, 25-10.
The opening two rounds were very tight with the
Belfast man edging both 4-3 but then, just like
Donnelly, he managed to find an extra gear in the
Finnegan, of the Oliver Plunkett gym, drove forward
and landed some superb combinations.
Having taken the round decisively, 12-2 he was now
in full control and the bronze was safe.
Finnegan will now meet Scotland's Jamie Hastie for a
place in the final.
But there was disappointment for Willie McLaughlin
as he exited the championships at the quarter-final
McLaughlin went down 34-21 to England's BJ Saunders
in their welterweight clash.
Meanwhile, Belfast man Barnes meets Tanzania's
Hassan Abdallah for a shot at gold later today.
PROMOTER Frank Warren says there is no reason why
light welterweight champion Gavin Rees could not
meet Ricky Hatton.
"Why shouldn't it happen?" said Warren. "Gavin's
undefeated, he was highly ranked before his
out-of-the-ring problems, now he's back with a
"Gavin has a mandatory defence against Andreas
Kotelnik, but before that we hope to get him a
voluntary defence on Joe Calzaghe's 3 November
Rees, 27, won the WBA title from Souleymane M'Baye
on Saturday night.