Holy Trinity BC coach Michael Hawkins has hailed John McConnell’s high-five at the U/18 Championships which concluded last weekend at the Stadium.

McConnell, pictured above, boxes out of the Belfast club.

He won the lightweight title the hard way – after five straight wins against varied opposition.

“He’s had a really good run,” Hawkins told today’s Irish News.

“He came up against five different types of opponent – the southpaw, the orthodox, the boxer, the fighter – so that will stand well to him in terms of his preparations for the Europeans.

“John is a confident kid, but he has a right to be confident because of the preparation he puts in. He lives the game, he does everything right, and he’s getting what he deserves.

“The club is bouncing at the minute and with the likes of Barry McReynolds – our Ulster elite champion – and now John, the kids have boxers there to look up to and to learn from. Success breeds success.”