At the National Boxing Stadium last night, Friday 14th 2003. Henry Coyle Geesala, had the contest of his life when he put World bronze medallist James Moore to the pin of his collar in their Welterweight semi-final bout. Moore had the best of the exchanges in the first round but Coyle came back with a flurry to give a toe to toe exhibition with Moore which has not been seen in the Stadium for years. This continued for the third round with little between them, Moore got the upper hand with his experience in the last round and came out with a 25-13 points margin which did not reflect the contest. Experts a ringside, Gerry Callan boxing correspondent of the Star newspaper, sponsors of the Championships and many others, agreed that it was a pity that both boys had to meet at this stage it would be a wonderful final for next Friday night.
Other Mayo boxers to feature in the Championships are Thomas Moran, St.Anne's Westport, who had a competent win over Belfast's John O'Meara last Friday 7th. Moran faces Derry's Eugene O'Keane to-night, 15th February, in the Semi-final of the Middleweight class, despite the fact that it is a 50/50 forecast to-night, I feel Moran has the class to go forward to next Friday nights finals. Philip Byrne is drawn against Alan Reynolds at Heavyweight tonight and on paper he is up against it. Philip is confident, however, and will give it his best shot, and he certainly will gain from the experience and will improve his standing as a result. Reynolds is going for a Irish record to join his brother Stephen in winning five Irish titles in a row.
Brothers Joe and Mel Cristle were both Irish champions in 1980 at heavy and Super-heavyweight. Steven won at heavyweight in 1999-2000 and 2001, and at Super-Heavyweight in 1997 & 1998. Alan won Light-Heavy in 1999, 2000 and 2001 and the Heavyweight title last year 2002. Thomas Lee, Oughterard, is also into the final next week having received a by at Flyweight. Former Junior Champion James Waldren, Ballyhaunis, boxing for Castlebar was defeated last Friday night by the brilliant under 21 champion Darren Suderland, Dublin.
The Mayo Juvenile Championships get off to a start with the weigh in at St.Annes Gym to-morrow Sunday at 10-30 am. The Championships proper take place over two days on Sat & Sunday 22nd.and 23rd, at the Killala sports centre.