The 40th Anniversary Fight Night for Clonoe Boxing Club is shaping up to be one of the best nights entertainment this year.
The club have lined up a stellar cast of names to fight in front of what is sure to be a packed out Coalisland Parochial Centre.
Among those who will feature on the 12 fight card are local boxer Fergal McCrory and 2008 Olympian John Joe Joyce.
The fight night will pit some of the best amateur boxers in Ireland against an American side who have honed their craft in New Jersey and Florida.
In total a 19 strong American delegation will be in Coalisland for the big night with 10 fighters, coaching staff and officials.
One face among the American party who may be familiar to some readers is Carrickmore man, Peter Donaghy who married and settled in America but is involved in the boxing scene stateside.
Clonoe Boxing Club have welcomed visiting teams in the past but welcoming a team from America is a dream come true for club coach Frank Gervin.
“It’s going to be a great night. Hopefully this will be the start of taking teams over from America. I’ve always wanted to take a team over from America and I have fulfilled my ambition,” Frank said.
“We have brought teams over from England in the past but this is a first. The first team we brought over was in 1978, Gallagher’s Boys’ Club.
“They were over the moon about the way they were treated here. At that time in 1978 the English international team were to come to Dublin but they wouldn’t come because of the Troubles.
“Gallagher’s Boys’ Club went back and told them they should change their mind because they were over in Coalisland with Clonoe Boxing Club and they were treated very well.”
There’s a cracking card of boxing ahead with a ten fight match between the Clonoe Select and the New Jersey/ Florida Select.
Among the standout fights will be Beijing Olympian John Joe Joyce and New Jersey boxer, Jade Ivory, the Heavyweight clash of Sacred Heart, Newry’s Stephen McMonagle and Dover Boxing Clubs, Dan Mansfield.
The home support however will be on the edge of their seats for the contest between Fergal McCrory and Stephen Watchel in the 69kg weight division.
McCrory, a Clonoe boxer and national champion in the past with the club will surely be looking to put on a performance for the home support.
Frank expects the night to be a big success and when pushed on which fighter he was looking forward to seeing he plumped for Clonoe’s own McCrory:
“I think Fergal McCrory’s fight will be a good one. He’s been training really well at the present minute and he’s really looking well to this contest.
“He’d been due to turn pro after a fight earlier on this year in Clonoe but it all fell through.
“Hopefully he’ll stay amateur for a while. He’d make it at the pro-game because he’s got a powerful punch and if he got into the right stable he’d be okay but at the minute the best route may be trying to get into the Irish High Performance set up.”
The American team will provide formidable opposition for the Irish boxers with Leroy Davila an extremely high calibre opponent.
The New Jersey boxer very nearly claimed the American championships this year losing out on count back to eventual champion Santos Vasquez.
The Clonoe coach, Gervin expects the American team to provide strong opposition for the Irish fighters.
“This American team is very good. They’re a tough team and they’ve some very good fighters in the American style. They’ve got that big punch on them and they’d try and draw you in.
“We’ll be well enough prepared for them, we’ve got a good team. Young Mulholland and McCrory, McGreevy and the two Belfast lads who are very good boxers. Young O’Reilly’s a European Junior Gold medallist.”
Frank wanted to say a special word of thanks to his coaching team and all those who had helped in any way to prepare for the big night.
“My right hand men Jamesie O’Hagan and Anthony McCrory have been invaluable in helping out. Nicky Rankin has helped out as well.
“Jamesie has been with me for 20 years as a coach. He’s been a very loyal member of the club. Anthony has boxed with me and the McCrory name has been synonymous with the Clonoe club since the early 1980s.”
Friday’s Fight Night is surely the best possible way to celebrate and mark the impact and legacy that Clonoe Boxing Club has given Coalisland and the surrounding area.
There’s sure to be a big crowd there so make sure to get your ticket for the big night as soon as possible.
CLONOE SELECT v
Noel Gallagher (Bishop Kelly, Tyrone) v Charles Muntwyler (Florida)
Robbie McGreevy (Sacred Heart, Newry) v Tayvon Fish (Elizabeth Rec, New Jersey)
James McDonagh (Dockers, Belfast) v Keith Hernandez (Ace’s, New Jersey)
Fergal McCrory (Clonoe, Tyrone) v Steve Watchel (Dover, New Jersey)
Stephen Mulholland (St Malachy’s, Camlough) v Lize Jarrett (Ike and Randy’s, New Jersey)
Stephen O’Reilly (Twin Towns, Donegal) v John Magda (Ike and Randy’s, New Jersey)
John Joe Joyce (St Michael’s, Athy) v Jade Ivory (Ace’s, New Jersey)
Chris Deveney (Dockers, Belfast) v Bill Danissivi (Florida)
Stephen McMonagle (Sacred Heart, Newry) v Dan Mansfield (Dover, New Jersey)
TBA v Leroy Davila (North Brunswick, New Jersey)
Carilos Toleikis (Clonoe) v Sean Lennon (Guildford)
Ryan Cleary (Clonoe) v TBA (Guildford)