It was standing room only on Friday night week last in the Corebox Sports Arena in Randolph, Boston where the Donegal boxing team faced the cream of boxers from the Boston Academy under the guidance of former Buncrana boxer Mark Porters.

Twelve qualify contests were down for decision in weights ranging from 88lbs to 165lbs and the men from Tir Chonnaill came away with a very convincing 10 – 2 victory.

The opening bout of the evening was a worthy curtain-raiser for any major tournament.

Dunree stylish Matthew Carlin was paired with Jose Lopez at 88lbs in an action-packed 3 rounds with the Inishowen puncher recording a worthy 5-0 points win, much to the delight of the Donegal supporters in the capacity crowd.

Bout 2 saw Raphoe’s evergreen 103lbs puncher Aaron McDaid paired with Brady Magrais.

The Strabane based schoolboy was red hot on the night as he went out a deserving points winner at the end of three absorbing rounds.

Contest 3 brought together Donegal’s joker of the team, talented southpaw Josh McDonagh (Dunree), who locked horns with Alex Borzel at 90lbs.

The jovial McDonagh turned in a veteran’s display of ring craft. His deadly accuracy and fancy footwork was a treat in a 5-0 verdict.

Bout 4 saw St Bridget’s (Clonmany) ever-improving Daniel Campbell face highly-rated Boston puncher Bryce Litterio at 122lbs.

This was a hard-fought edge of the seat clash from the first to the final bell with Campbell punching the air with joy when his hand was raised as a 4-1 winner to put the visitors 4-0 up.

Contest 5 was made at 110lbs and brought together Letterkenny’s Paddy McShane and Boston’s Francis Scatia, a beaten finalist at this year’s Golden Gloves Championships in the USA.

This was McShane at his best and the former 4-times national champion was red hot on the night. His quick fist action and dazzling footwork was a joy to behold as he recorded a 4-1 win.

Bout 6 was a fiercely fought battle of guts and courage at 130lbs. Cardonagh’s granite-jawed Dean Doherty was paired with the hammer-handed Antonio Osorio and it was the Boston southpaw’s pinpoint accuracy that was the telling factor in a 5-0 win.

In the 145lbs Division, Liam McMonagle faced the rugged Issiah Cruz and the Lifford student used his height and reach advantage to good effect to claim a 5-0 victory.

Bout 8 brought together Carndonagh’s talented Andrew Cunningham and Boston’s Mickey Vazquez at 138lbs and again it was non-stop action for three very hard-fought rounds with the Carndonagh puncher going out a deserving 5-0 victor.

Bout No 9 saw Dunfanaghy’s power-punching Oisin Wallace cross paths with rugged Boston student Marcus Kabucho at 160lbs. Both boxers gave it everything over three keenly contested rounds.

At the final bell, the Donegal man took the split points verdict on a 3-2 decision.

In the 130lbs division, Clonmany’s evergreen Adam McDaid was paired with Boston’s Keno Luna and McDaid turned in a vintage display on his way to the 5-0 victory.

The first and only stoppage of the night came in contest 11 when Cillian Boyce locked horns with the much talked about Kewin Rodriquez at the 132lbs limit.

The ever-reliable Letterkenny puncher was always in command and when Rodriguez received his third standing count in round three the ref stopped the contest to save the gutsy Boston boxer any further punishment. The final contest brought a great night of boxing together.

Convoy’s 4 times national champion Bryan McNamee and US Marine Mike Fontane met at 165lbs.

Both men exploded into action at the sound of the first bell as they tested the weight of each their punches with both trading hefty combinations.

There was no reverse gear in either boxer as they gave it their all right up until the final bell with the Boston puncher recording a 4-1 win.

Both men received tremendous applause as they left the ring and both were presented with king-sized trophies as the three-rounder was declared the fight of the night.

There was disappointment for Convoy schoolboy Pearse McBride whose opponent failed to make it to the venue on the night and Odhran McGinley (Dunfanaghy) couldn’t be matched with a suitable combatant.

Peter O’Donnell, President of the Donegal Board, was high in his praise for all boxers, coaches and officials.

“To travel to Boston with fourteen boxers and get twelve quality contests on the night and come away with a victory of 12 bouts to 2 over a star-studded Boston Academy team is a great feat for Donegal boxing,” he said.

“I would like to extend a special thanks to the Donegal County Council whomade this trip possible for the Donegal boxing team, to Marty and Steven O’Reilly who supplied the gear for the boxers and officials, and the Donegal Sports Hub for all the excellent coverage every week leading up to this trip.

“All the young boxers did their country proud inside and outside the ring. To our good friends in Boston, Mark Porter, Timmy Staunton and Patrick Bradley, a sincere thanks for everything you have done for the Donegal boxing team.”

Peter O’Donnell