Commonwealth Games Youth champion James McGivern admits he’s stepping into the big boys’ game now.
The talented Belfast bantamweight (St George’s BC), told the Irish News that he was glad to hear to final bell toll on 2016 and is looking forward to making his Elite debut in February at Dublin’s National Stadium.
McGivern, who will also enter the National U/22 Championships which begins on Friday week at the Stadium, meets Cork’s AIBA World Junior silver medallist Eamer Coughlan at the Devenish Complex in Belfast on Saturday night in an Antrim versus Riverstown BC match.
The McGivern versus Coughlan clash is a repeat of the 2016 U/18 Championships meeting which the Leesider won.
“It’s another fight, another chance to shake off any ring rust after Christmas and it’s fallen perfectly before the U22s,” said 18-year-old McGivern.
“2016 wasn’t a great year for me or Irish boxing in general really.
“My plans at the start of the year changed dramatically throughout the year, but these things happen. That’s the sport we’re in, it’s how you bounce back from disappointments that matter.
“I had a great youth, schoolboy and junior career but I’m brand new to this now. I’m stepping into the big boys’ game, but I want to let everyone know that James McGivern’s still here.”
DEVENISH COMPLEX, BELFAST
Age 9 32kg: J McAughey (Ormeau Road) v A Noonan; Age 10 39kg: D Jones (North Down) v D Murphy; B1 38.5kg: D Harrigan (Scorpion) v D Buckley; B1 37kg: L Ward (All Saints’) v K Dunne; B2 37kg: K McGreevey (Holy Trinity) v J Collins; B3 48kg: S Kearney (Clonard) v T Twohig; B4 50kg: B Blair (North Down) v M O’Driscoll; G3 44kg: A Mawhinney (Bangor Abbey) v L Coffey; G5 52kg: M McNulty (Rathfriland) v M Coffey; G6 52kg: O Grant (Carryduff) v O Rafferty; G5 54kg: M Neill (Canal) v D McSweeney; G6 60kg: E McKee (All Saints’) v N Russell; G6 54kg: S McKenna (Holy Family) v T Hegarty; Y1 57kg: G Arthurs (Gleann) v T Hegarty; Y2 60kg: T Heaney (Scorpion) v S Damery; Y1 52kg: J McArdle (Ligoniel) v J Connors; Y2 60kg: B Ferran (Clonard) v D Murray; Y1 57kg: L McKee (Star) v C Walsh; Y1 60kg: F Duffin (All Saints’) v S Butler; Y2 66kg: T Duffy (Clonard) v P Dunne; Senior 64kg: C Ferguson (Gleann) v J Pelan; U18 60kg: J McGivern (St George’s) v E Coughlan