Tuesday, 11 July 2017

KANE GOING FOR GOLD thumbnail KANE Tucker boards the plane to the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas tomorrow (Wednesday).

NEWRY native Kane Tucker is aiming to produce the fights of his life next week when he competes in the prestigious Commonwealth Youth Games.

The Northern Ireland Commonwealth team board the plane to the Bahamas tomorrow (Wednesday) and the former St Joseph's High School, Newry, student isn't going there to top up his tan.

At only 17-years- old, Tucker is the youngest member of the Northern Ireland boxing team but his form has been sensational in recent years that his name was first on the team.

He boxes out of the Holy Trinity Boxing Club in Belfast under the watchful eye of former Irish Olympic coach Micky Hawkins but has been a rising star since first donning boxing gloves at St John Bosco club when he was six-years old.

Already Kane has won an incredible seven National titles, ten Ulster titles and two Antrim boxing crowns and he has also impressed on the international stage with back-to-back gold medal wins at HSK Denmark, another gold in the Black Forest Cup in Germany and gold again in Latvia, as well as picking up bronze in European competition.

You think Bahamas and blue skies, wall-to-wall sun and crystal clear water but this Tucker has only medals on his mind.

"I am excited and can't wait to get out there," said Tucker.

"It is all to do about the boxing, I don't really care where I am. I am not going there for a holiday I am going to there to box and to win medals.

"And it has to be the gold medal. The last team that went I think they won four gold medals and a sliver, so they did really well, so the pressure is on us to go out there and win medals.

"As long as everyone on the team fights to their potential then I think they all have a good shot." Training has been intense, including a ten day sparring camp at the facilities at University of Ulster against boxers from Scotland, Italy, Spain, Germany, France and Ireland.

Despite being at least a year younger than the majority of his opponents, such is Kane's quality it has been difficult for the teenager to find a sparring partner but he feels fitter than ever now.

"I am fighting from a younger age group, so I will be fighting a year above me but I am used to that now," said Tucker.

"I can't remember the last time I got a spar with someone my age, I usually have to spar with boxers older than me.

"I am feeling very fit. Before the training camp I was struggling to keep up with the three minute rounds as this is my first competition doing so, but now I feel confident that I can give it 100 percent over the three rounds.

"I get up about 7am to train, then train again at 11am and then eat and train again at 3pm and then rest for the remainder of the day." The hard work is done and the young yet mature Tucker is itching to get in the ring but while he will have to wait almost a week before his first fight, he wants to make an impact.

"Competition take place between Tuesday, July 18, to Sunday, July 23, and I'll be there from Wednesday, so it gives me time to adjust to the weather and get used to the time difference - before my first fight on the 18th.

"As long as I give all that I can, then there is not much more I can do.

"As long as I perform the way I can I can't see anyone at all beating me, but I have to perform."


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