IT MAY not have been in the Rumble in the Jungle category but Saturday night’s Moorefield GAA Boxing Night will go down as one of the great events of 2012, writes Tommy Callaghan.
The effort put in by the lads in the ring was absolutely phenomenal. The organisation on the night was top notch and for sheer entertainment and value-for-money this was hard to surpass.
There was twelve fights on the programme in front of a packed Ryston Boxing Club audience and as for the atmosphere, well you couldn’t bottle it. And make no mistake there was some serious boxing on the night; some serious thumps; some serious questions asked and some serious answers dished out.
Between rounds the many hot blooded young males in the audience were kept on their toes as Leanne Durney and Danielle Kinsella (not forgetting Sue) kept one and all well briefed on the upcoming rounds.
The MC on the night was none other than Mr Johnny Peters who got the action under way bang on the eight bells.
First into the ring was Jason ‘The Boy’ Donnelly in the red corner who took on Lee ‘Bruiser’ Murphy. And what an opening scrap we had with the former coming through but only after a mighty clash.
Frank ‘The Tank’ Hannify was next in against Ger ‘Knockout’ Naughton with the winner being crowned King of Allenview Heights. It was a bruising contest that had the crowd on their feet from the word go. In the end ‘The Tank’ came out on top as ‘Knockout’ failed to live up to his name on this occasion, although I hear he did do a good breakfast for his opponent when they got home, eventually.
Fight number three saw one of JP McManus’ favourites, Mark ‘The Machine’ Walsh, trade punches with Dessie Hughes’ Roger ‘Raging’ Loughran and with a man like JP backing you ‘The Machine’ was always favourite to get up on the line and he did.
Seamus ‘The Mallet’ Murray rolled back the years against Niall ‘The Annihilator’ Hurley-Lynch and while ‘The Mallet’ had the big support (the Murrays alone would make up a significant number of backers) it was ‘The Annihilator’ who came out on top. No weight for age allowance here for ‘The Mallet’ and in the end that was probably the difference.
The swasbuckling Glen ‘Chopper’ Collins was next in the ring, his opponent being Daire ‘The Violator’ Dunne who it is reported dropped a couple of stone in preparation for this contest. Another tough hard hitting bout ‘The Violator’ just about deserving of the verdict.
The last fight before the break and here Brian ‘Bone Crusher’ McGrogan was fancied by many to blow away Dave ‘The Tornado’ Curran. Another top class contest in which ‘The Tornado’ failed to read the script and duly got the verdict.
The award for the ‘Best Entrance’ on the night was won hands down by Mohammed ‘Ali’ Kavanagh whose entourage (including ‘manager’ Shane ‘The Fixer’ Stafford) had the hall marks of the great days of Cassius Clay. ‘Ali’ was up against Paddy Nolan who gave of his all but had to give way on points to ‘The Prettiest of them all’.
A man who put in some serious training for this contest was Dave ‘Rocky’ McDonnell. It is reported that he climbed Christmas trees in order to put out the lights in this contest and while he failed to switch off Mick ‘Clubber’ O’Shea he nevertheless did enough to shade it.
Fight number nine had a real serious look about it even before lads were gloved up. Dave ‘The Renegade’ Whyte went toe to toe with Ross ‘The Boss’ Glavin. No punches pulled in this one and it went down to the wire with the score cards having to be re-checked before ‘The Renegade’ got his stripes.
Two well know jockeys in the area were in next. Pauric ‘The Sledge’ Roche and Alan ‘Birdman’ Crowe traded punches and while ‘The Sledge’ failed to live up to his reputation ‘Birdman’ failed to fly. The result? All square.
A battle between two well trained boxers in tip top condition was always going to be a ding dong affair and it certainly lived up to the pre-fight hype. There may have been a bob or two won and lost on this one which saw Warren ‘The Barron’ Downey get the vote over James ‘The King of Sting’ Lonergan.
The final bout of the night was one of the most anticipated clashes on the programme. Kevin ‘Twinkle Toes’ O’Neill and Jason ‘The Hammer’ Philips certainly had the crowd on their feet as they stood toe to toe trading blows for the full three rounds. A real tough one was this and there could not have been more than a point separating them when the verdict was announced with ‘Twinkle Toes’ getting the nod.
All in all a magnificent night and a, thoroughly enjoyed by one and all. Congratulations to the organisers who put in a huge effort but most especially to the boxers who were great. Ryston has rarely seen an occasion such as this on a night everyone was a winner!