OLYMPIANS Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan will be amongst the boxers in action at the Ulster Elite Amateur Boxing championships which are being held in Londonderry for the first time as part of the UK City of Culture celebrations.
The Championships will be the first major sporting event to take place in the city in 2013. They are the pinnacle of the Ulster boxing calendar and are an important stepping stone to the Commonwealth Games team for Glasgow in 2014.
Belfast light flyweight Paddy Barnes won a bronze medal at the London Olympics last summer to add to the bronze he claimed at the 2008 Games in Beijing. Conlan also won a bronze medal in the flyweight category at the London Olympics.
Min McCann, Secretary of the County Derry Amateur Boxing Board, said: “It’s an endorsement from the Ulster Boxing Council that we in Derry are capable of running such an event.
“For Derry boxing we just want to highlight and let people know about the long tradition we have of boxing and that that tradition continues. We are thankful to the City of Culture that we are able to present boxing in their year-long programme.”
Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of Culture Company 2013, said: “Sport plays a hugely important part in the City of Culture programme and we are delighted to have the Ulster Elite Amateur Boxing Championships come to the city for the first time. Finals night in The Venue promises to be a wonderful occasion.”
Mayor Kevin Campbell has welcomed news that the Ulster Elite Amateur Boxing Championships are being held in Derry as part of the City’s City of Culture celebrations.
“It is fantastic that the city has successfully bid to host sports events of such high calibre during its celebration year. It’s the first time this championship has been staged outside Belfast and will see some of the most elite amateur boxers competing at the event. It’s particularly significant given the city’s reputation and close association with the sport and I am delighted this this is one of a number of major boxing events to be held in Derry during 2013.”
Sports Minister, Carál Ní Chuilín said: “This is a great opportunity to see our Olympic heroes in action. This is the first time the championships have been held outside Belfast and are part of a packed sports programme for Derry City of Culture 2013.
“Derry has a proud boxing heritage, both professional and amateur. These championships will enable fight fans to come together to join in the city’s celebrations in established venues such as the Du Pont Recreation Club as well as final night at the specially constructed Venue 2013.”
The preliminary rounds of the competition and the semi-finals will be staged in the Recreation Club at Du Pont, Maydown from January 21st to 23rd. The finals will be held in Ebrington on Friday, January 25, 2013.
Ticket prices for the finals are £10 and £15 ringside. Doors will open at 7.30pm on the night.