FORMER world flyweight champion Dave ‘Boy’ McAuley was a special guest at the weekend bow-tie dinner and boxing show in Cairndhu Golf Club, Larne.
The 13-bout bill, arranged by Larne Amateur Boxing Club coach and ex-professional ace Roy Webb, marked the farewell fight appearance of local welterweight Chris McAllister as the 23-year-old electrician emigrates to Australia.
In an absorbing catchweight (no-decision) contest with Callum Trengrove (Spartans), McAllister was involved in a superb tear-up over three rounds.
McAllister’s club colleague, and namesake Mark, closed the show which was in aid of Larne ABC. The 17-year-old Larne Grammar rugby star displayed a stubborn, tenacious streak to edge Hillview light-middleweight Danny Hagan.
Carrickfergus super-heavyweight Jason Bennett survived a second-round standing count to notch a unanimous decision over Larne’s Craig Johnson. Conceding height and reach, 23-year-old Johnson had his opponent rocking from a huge right-hander over Bennett’s long left jab. In a fiery fight, Bennett recovered from unsteady legs, after the welcome count from the referee before thumping Johnson with a two-fisted stinging volley. Now it was the home boy’s turn to endure a standing count. Bennett took over with accurate shots as the Larne lad ran out of gas.
Classy Chris O’Callaghan, a World Youth welterweight bronze medallist from Glengormley, had to settle for a split-decision outcome against another talented teenager, Matt Laverty of Lisburn. O’Callaghan set a brisk rhythm, behind a quick and accurate left jab, before Laverty managed to slightly upset the trend with some late aggression.
Antrim Youth champion Caolan Lyttle (Hillview, Bawnmore) did his best work behind a smart double left hook in the opening two stanzas to clinch a unanimous points decision against the taller Mark Lindsay of Belfast’s St Agnes. Lyttle’s neat shots to body and head, and a stinging straight right during the second round, secured sufficient points advantage to offset Lindsay’s gritty fightback in the closing session.
Larne light-welterweight Connor Davies - a recent winner of provincial underage titles - showed a useful left hook to help plunder a split-decision against Lisburn’s Arthur Sterns.
RESULTS: Schoolboys: Patrick Quinn (Hillview) draw Adam Thompson (Spartans, Ballyclare), Kieran McKeown (Hillview) draw Justin Forsythe (Spartans); Boys’ Flyweight: Kelvin McDonald (Larne) draw Darren Milligan (Hillview) Luke Rowe (Hillview) draw Caolan McKeown (Hillview);
Feather: Dillon Matchett (Hillview) draw Danny Lindsay (St Agnes); Light: Nathan McAlinden (Hillview) draw Lee McVeigh (St Agnes); Lightwelter: Connor Davies (Larne) bt Arthur Sterns (Lisburn)pts; Welter: Chris O’Callaghan (Glengormley) bt Matt Laverty (Lisburn)pts, Chris McAllister (Larne) draw Callum Trengrove (Spartans). Lightmiddle: Mark McAllister (Larne) bt Danny Hagan (Hillview) pts, Caolan Lyttle (Hillview) bt Mark Lindsay (St Agnes) pts, Dillon Robinson (Lisburn) bt Darragh McComb (St Agnes) pts. Superheavy: Jason Bennett (Carrickfergus) bt Craig Johnson (Larne) pts.