Ulster Elite Championships: Five fighters to look out for at the Ulster Hall

John Paul Hale (right) will renew his rivalry with Colm Murphy (left) in the bantamweight final
John Paul Hale (right) will renew his rivalry with Colm Murphy (left) in the bantamweight final
Ulster Elite Championships
Dates: Tuesday, 25 February Coverage: Live video stream on the BBC Sport website from 19:15 GMT

It is a big week for amateur boxing as the Ulster Elite Championships conclude with a night of finals at the Ulster Hall.

While many of Ireland's top amateur boxers focus on the upcoming Olympic qualifiers, there is still an exciting bunch set to grace the iconic Belfast venue on Tuesday night.

This competition has in the past proven a springboard for some of Ireland's greatest boxers. Carl Frampton, for example, famously lost his 2005 Ulster Amateur final to Ryan Lindberg.

This year's class will be hoping that a night inside the Ulster Hall can set them on a similarly exciting trajectory as they make their way in the world of boxing.

Here, we highlight five fighters we are looking forward to watching.

Jack McGivern (St George's)

Five days after his brother James signed a professional deal with MTK Global, Jack McGivern hopes to cap a big week for their family with victory in the light-welterweight final.

McGivern edged out Dominic Bradley in last week's semi-final at the Devenish and will be confident of overcoming Monkstown's Daryl Clarke, who beat Caoimhin Ferguson.

Last year, James McGivern outclassed Dylan Duffy to claim his second Ulster title and it would be a remarkable achievement were his younger sibling to replicate that achievement 12 months later at the same weight.

A highly skilled southpaw, McGivern will be one of the big draws on finals night.

Eugene McKeever (Holy Family Drogheda)

McKeever (left) lost the 2018 National Elite Senior Championship final to Kieran Molloy
McKeever (left) lost the 2018 National Elite Senior Championship final to Kieran Molloy

If last year is anything to go by, McKeever's welterweight decider with Matthew McCole (Illies Golden Glove) is not to be missed.

In 2019's 69kg final, McKeever secured a stunning first-round knockout victory over Tiernan Duffy.

The 22-year-old's ferocious right hand proved enough and he will be determined to conduct his business in similarly explosive style on Tuesday as the Armagh man hopes for a big 2020.

McKeever, who has been boxing since the age of eight, won a gold medal at the multi-nation Montana Belts three-day tournament in Paris in April last year.

McCole will provide a stern examination of his credentials, however, after a stellar 2019 which saw him pick up his first National Senior Championship title in Galway in November.

Clodagh McComiskey (Gilford)

The 22-year-old fitness instructor is set to make her Ulster Elite final debut after a decorated junior career which yielded six Irish titles and six Ulster titles.

McComiskey, whose father Bernard won 11 of his 12 fights as a professional, is planning to move into the pro ranks within the next couple of years and lay down a marker on Tuesday against Sionnan McKenna, who trains out of Holy Family in Belfast.

Having recently completed her degree in sport and exercise science, which involved a two-year break from boxing to focus on her studies, McComiskey is ready to make a major impression in Belfast.

John Paul Hale (Star)

Speaking of memorable fights, Star's Hale emerged as a 4-1 winner at the end of an epic contest with Colm Murphy in the bantamweight final last year.

The two fighters threw the kitchen sink at each other before receiving a standing ovation at the end of the bout.

Thankfully, the pair are set to meet again having come through difficult semi-finals, with Hale beating Conor Kerr and St George's fighter Murphy defeating Kane Marshall.

It's the sequel to 2019's stunner. While Murphy eyes revenge, we're intrigued to see how Hale handles the pressure as he attempts to defend his crown.

Kane Tucker (Emerald)

As a Commonwealth Youth silver medallist and a European Schoolboys bronze medalist, Tucker has been one of Irish boxing's top amateur prospects for a while now.

Having trained under Storey at Holy Family in Belfast, Tucker is now being guided by Harry Hawkins, who led Bernard Dunne to the WBA super-bantamweight title in 2009.

However, Newry native Tucker is looking to bounce back after a disappointing debut at the World Elite Men's Championships in September, where he bowed out in the last 64 after a unanimous decision defeat by Kyrgyzstan's Erkin Adylbek.

The light-heavyweight, 19, will go up against Eastside's Gareth McDowell. Tucker's younger brother, Jake, is in action too. He will face fellow Emerald fighter Gerard French in the middleweight final.

Ulster Elite Championships finals

Male light flyweight - 49kg

Craig Bigger (Cookstown) v Diarmuid Toland (Holy Family)

Female flyweight walkover - 51kg

Caitlin Fryers (Immaculata)

Male flyweight walkover - 52kg

Jack O'Neill (Corpus Christi)

Female flyweight - 54kg

Clodagh McComiskey (Gilford) v Sionnan McKenna (Holy Family GG)

Male bantamweight - 57kg

John Paul Hale (Star) v Colm Murphy (St George's)

Male lightweight - 60kg

Rory Lavery (Holy Family) v Mosa Kambule (Holy Trinity Boxing)

Male light welterweight - 63kg

Jack McGivern (St.George's) v Darryl Clarke (Monkstown)

Female welterweight walkover - 64kg

Shauna O'Callaghan (St. Francis Limerick)

Male welterweight - 69KG

Eugene McKeever (Holy Family, Drogheda) v Matthew McCole (Illies GG)

Female welterweight 69kg walkover

Rosemary Doherty (St. Francis Limerick)

Male middleweight final - 75kg

Jake Tucker (Emerald) v Gerard French (Emerald)

Male light heavyweight final - 81kg

Gareth McDowell (Eastside) v Kane Tucker (Emerald)

Male heavyweight final - 91kg

Karl Dlugosz (Immaculata) v Michael Erpelding (Holy Family GG)

Male super heavyweight final - 91+kg

Dennis Boriskins (Sacred Heart, Newry) v Patrick Rodgers (St. John's)

Special contest

Daithi MacGabhann v Paddy Barnes

Watch live coverage of the Ulster Elite Championships on the BBC Sport website

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