Friday 23 August 2019

Kom expecting classic with O'Hara

Kristina O'Hara. Photo: Sportsfile
Kristina O'Hara. Photo: Sportsfile

Bernard O'Neill

Indian boxing legend Mery Kom believes that the 48kg Commonwealth final with former Irish Elite champion Kristina O'Hara will never be forgotten.

The Olympic bronze medallist and Belfast native O'Hara clash over three rounds at around 9.30am tomorrow.

Both women met in a test match (no scores were kept) at Dublin's National Stadium last August when India sparred with Ireland.

"It's my debut in the Commonwealth Games and I'm through to finals with Kristina O'Hara. It will always be remembered, said Kom who, along with Katie Taylor, is the only woman to win five World Elite amateur titles.

O'Hara, a promising defender who turned down a trial with Nottingham Forest in her early teens to concentrate on boxing, insisted that she won't be overawed by Kom's reputation.

Meanwhile, brother and sister Aidan and Michaela Walsh fight in the last four today versus Fiji's Wilson Hill and New Zealand's Alexis Pritchard aiming to become the first boxing siblings to reach Commonwealth finals.

The Walshes, Kurt Walker and Rio 2016 Olympian Steven Donnelly fight between 9.30am and 11.30am today, while Rio Olympian Brendan Irvine, Carly McNaul and James McGivern were in action in the early hours of this morning.

Northern Ireland boxing, under Dublin-born head coach John Conlan, father of Michael Conlan, and coaches Peter Brady and Damien Kennedy, are guaranteed at least one silver and seven bronze in Australia.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland boxer Sean McComb is happy that the truth has prevailed following an altercation at a nightclub in Gold Coast, Australia.

The Belfast light-welter was involved in an incident outside the Sin City nightclub in the early hours of last Tuesday two days after he lost at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.

Local media reported that he had been thrown out of the venue and was fighting with bouncers outside the door to try and get back in.

Northern Ireland's Commonwealth Games Council said yesterday that its reputation had been impugned after reviewing CCTV footage of the incident and talking to McComb.

McComb said: "It's been a stressful few days for me. I've kept my integrity. I've stayed quiet in all of this until the truth came out."

Irish Independent

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