The Erne Boxing Club had a memorable and highly successful visit to the Newburgh Hook Elite’s ‘Gloves Up, Guns Down, Stop the Violence’ tournament in Newburgh, NY, USA last weekend with five out of six boxers returning with prestigious championship belts.

Bernard McGovern, Harris Crowley, Kaci Crowley, Mark Kells and Ryan Copeland all came home with the prized belts and it took a current seven-time USA champion to prevent Mark Monahan from completing a clean sweep.

First in action was Harris Crowley in a100lbs match against the host’s Zyrell Williams (Hook Elite BC). Southpaw Williams, a two-time New York state champion showed plenty of skill but Crowley fought aggressively and landed with the greater volume of shots. Crowley finished the contest very strong and knocked his opponent through the ropes with a good combination in the final session to seal a much deserved win.

Next up saw Kaci Crowley in a 115lbs contest against Sierra Martinez (New England BC). Crowley was on a personal avenge mission as her only sole defeat in 15 contests was in her USA debut two years ago. Her opponent Martinez held a victory over her victor from that occasion and all three rounds were extremely competitive with Martinez starting at a blistering pace.

Crowley had to fight fire-with-fire early on in each round but would then use her physical advantages and excellent jab to take charge. She landed with the greater scoring shots to edge all three round and earn a well-deserved unanimous points win.

Mark Monahan was next in action against the current and seven-time USA champion Kasir Goldston (Hittaz Boxing Club) in a 134lbs contest. Monahan started well enough and had Golston thinking early on but the American boxer’s punches and movement were of the highest quality. Monahan put up a very gallant effort but midway through the second round the corner retired him from the contest as he was under heavy fire and second best on the day.

The Ernesiders were back to winning way in the next match after Mark Kells prevailed against Andres Lozada (Bernard’s Boxing Academy) in a 152lbs match up.

New Yorker Lozada started fast but Kells weathered the early storm and fought his way back into the contest and finished the round on top.

The contest was very absorbing as both combatants were throwing and landing heavy punches but Kells had the upper hand in the final two rounds forcing his opponent to take standing counts in the last two sessions on route to collecting a clear unanimous point win.

Next up was Ryan Copeland who won his match without throwing a punch as his opponent bizarrely withdrew from the contest moments before they were due to step into the ring.

In the final match of the day Bernard McGovern, having his first competitive match in over five years, turned back time to score a solid points win over Artel Swindell (John’s Gym Boxing Club) in a 146lbs contest.

McGovern picked his shots nicely to take the opener. Rounds two and three were very untidy as Swindell was wild with his punches and would then fall and maul when he missed. McGovern had difficulty finding space and was forced to work in close but he fought very hard and did land with the few clean scoring shots in the final two session to grind out a unanimous points with and round off a fantastic tournament for the Erne Boxing Club.

Erne Boxing Club coach Sean Crowley commented, “All our boxers did us very proud. We came to one of the USA’s most dangerous cities to compete against some real rough and tough opposition.

“All our boxers were matched extremely hard against open class boxers and for five to be returning as champions in so surreal. Our sole defeat on this trip was against a seven-time USA champion who subsequently collected the Best Boxer accolade so Monahan can be very proud of his performance.

Most gratifying for the club was the praise and compliments we received by many coaches who watched our matches attentively from ringside.

We also earned the Best Visiting Team accolade, which made a fantastic day even better,” he commented.