An Armagh boxer is in line to represent Northern Ireland at this summer’s Commonwealth Games after claiming an Ulster Senior title in Belfast on Friday night.
Sean Duffy from Keady, who boxes out of the Holy Trinity club in Belfast, beat Paul Hyland in the final of the 64kg bout at the Europa Hotel.
In doing so, Duffy who won an Ulster title last year, claimed the boxer of the tournament award, and now looks destined to be part of the Commonwealth squad that will head to Glasgow later this year.
Speaking exclusively to Armagh I, the Keady man was obviously delighted with the title.
“It has been a fantastic week for me but they were three very tough, difficult fights. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy because I knew the boys I was fighting but that’s just part and partial of it. You have to fight the person put in front of you.”
However, Duffy will not have too much time to celebrate the win.
“I have to take this title and move on as the All-Irelands are just three weeks away and I want to well there too. They should help prepare me further for what’s coming up in the summer so I’m looking forward to that.
“For now though, it’s a great feeling being an Ulster champion again.”
This title was made all the more impressive considering the young boxer broke his jaw in the ring just eight months ago and only returned to full training just before Christmas.
This summer’s games will not be Duffy’s first taste of international competition as he picked up a silver medal
at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune, India in 2008.
Incidentally, Paul Hyland won a bronze medal at the same tournament.
Chris Fullerton of the Sean Doran Boxing Club in Keady said: “Sean had three very tough fights in five days and was very impressive in each of them. This is a great achievement seeing as Sean is only back to boxing after suffering a broken jaw.
“Its good to see all the comments and the congratulations coming in for him but now is the time to really get behind this local boxer. At all three fights this week Sean’s opponents had great vocal support from their friends and fans. Its not everything but sometimes it helps to know you have people with you cheering you on.
“The Irish Elite championships are in three weeks time in Dublin and I would urge everyone who can to make the effort and get up to watch and support Sean.”
Keady boxers Dan Fullerton and Duffy’s younger brother Brian will also be competing at these championships in three weeks time.