HARTLEPOOL'S young amateur boxers take centre stage this weekend following James Rooney's successful professional debut.
HARTLEPOOL'S young amateur boxers take centre stage this weekend following James Rooney's successful professional debut. Catholic Club ABC stage a dinner show on Friday night before their young star, Chris Leece, goes into action the following day in the semi-finals of the National Schoolboy Championships.
Professional boxing is on a high in Hartlepool again. Rooney's points victory over Marc Smith in Carlisle on Saturday night followed triumphant pro debuts last year for Dave Garside-managed duo Kevin Bennett and Ian Cooper.
In the Gus Robinson camp, Alan Temple is eyeing a British lightweight championship eliminator while popular Hartlepool boxer John T Kelly is the holder of the Northern Area lightweight title.
Rooney, a former Catholic Club star, plus ex-Boys Welfare aces Cooper and Bennett will be supporting Friday night's amateur show at the Mayfair Centre on Friday night.
Many of the town's top young talent from Catholic, Boys Welfare and Headland clubs will be in action on the bill at the Manhatten Suite.
There are two derbies as the Headland's Gareth Roberts meets Shaun Dunn of the host club while his Catholic Club team-mate Carl Miller has a cracker of a contest with Boys Welfare's Jon Swift.
But the highlight of what looks like being an exciting night's action is the senior debut of three-times national junior title-holder David Robson.
The Catholic Club teenager is back in action with a tough fight against Darlington's Michael Ward.
"We had a good show on before Christmas, but this has the making of being even better," said Catholic Club coach Paul Allen.
While Friday night's competitors will be staying up late, 14-year-old Catholic Club prospect Leece is likely to be having an early night.
Leece is in action in Birmingham on Saturday in the semi-final of the National Schoolboys Championship, with the boxer known as Buster bidding for a place in the final of the Under 45 kilo intermediate class.
"Buster has been brilliant this season and deserves to go all the way," said Allen. "He has the ability and hopefully he will box as well as he has in the previous rounds."
Tickets are still available for the show at the Mayfair Centre on Friday night. Dinner tickets are 20 and boxing-only admission is only 5.
For more information, contact Paul Allen on (01429) 232884