Boxing: Dave ‘Boy’ McAuley casts an eye over rising stars

Dave 'Boy' McAuley with Moorland Holmes of Cairndhu GC and Roy Webb from Larne ABC.

Dave 'Boy' McAuley with Moorland Holmes of Cairndhu GC and Roy Webb from Larne ABC.

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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.