White collar boxing event a knockout once again

Eamonn Loughran probably thought he had seen it all when it comes to boxing-related matters.

Wednesday, 6th November 2013, 3:00 pm
Bert Purdy cringes as he receives a blow from Seamus Hastings during the Braid ABC white collar fight night, raising money for Cancer Focus. INBT45-217AC

But even the former world champion admits he was blown away by last week’s Braid ABC white collar boxing night in Tullyglass House Hotel.

“I’ll be honest, after the success of last year’s, I wondered if we would even get close to that again,” Eamonn told Times Sport.

“But this year’s was way, way better - it was another level altogether. The atmosphere in Tullyglass was electrifying but it was so good-natured - there wasn’t one bit of bother.

“Every fight on the night went the distance so there was plenty of good boxing action for everyone to enjoy.

“I’ve said it before but while it’s great to be raising money for a good cause, and great for people to get a sense of what it’s like to be a boxer, the biggest pleasure I get out of it is seeing the people of Ballymena come together.

“I looked around that room and saw people I knew from different parts of the town and different walks of life - I thought it gave a really good impression of what Ballymena people are like.

“We decided we would push the boat out a wee bit this year - just wee tocuhes like having a camera from production company Arkmedia, like having Harry McGavock as the MC, having judges this year and all those wee things added so much to the occasion.

“It was also great to have Norman Parke, the cage fighter there after his success the previous weekend and he had so much time for everybody.

“I would like to thank Scott McGarry for being the main sponsor, Braid ABC for all its assistance and everyone else who helped out in any way.

“It looks as though we’ll rauise somewhere around the same as last year - about £12-13,000 - for Cancer Focus which is brilliant as well.

“There’s a big demand for white collar boxing - I would say if we advertised another one tomorrow we would have 50 boys wanting to take part.

“I would say we’ll go again next year although I’ll take a breather first - I think organising it took more out of me than when I was boxing myself!” laughed Eamonn.