Sports

Silver medal for Tucker

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

TO be disappointed with a silver medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games is a measure of young boxer Kane Tucker, writes Steve Malone.
The Newry native secured a brilliant silver medal on Sunday night after losing in a split decision to England's Aaron Bowen.
It was a fight where both boxers went toe-to-toe and while 17-year-old Tucker got some joy with his powerful uppercut it was Bowen who got the nod from the judges.
As he told the Democrat, Kane travelled to the Bahamas with winning gold firmly in his sights despite being the youngest competitor.
The Holy Trinity ABC boxer stormed into the competition on Thursday night against Scotland's Ryan Reekie. Having previously sparred against each other this was a war of attrition over three rounds with the former Newry High School student stepping up the pace in the final three minutes to secure a split decision victory.
Tucker then followed this up with a cracking display against the towering Canadian Satwinder Thind. Tucker wasn't concerned with the Canadian's reach and simply pounded his opponent for a comfortable 5-0 win and to book his place in the Commonwealth Final.
And it was less than 24 hours later Tucker was back in the ring, where he seemed to give as good as he got but it was Bowen who won gold.
Kane was visibly gutted as he received the silver medal. Gold was all that was in his mind but silver is an amazing achievement. There is no doubt that bigger tests await the current 75kg middleweight Commonwealth Youth silver medallist and he will be no stranger to international competitions.
Tucker is rated very highly by Irish Olympic boxing coach Mickey Hawkins and at Holy Trinity in Belfast, Kane and his brother Jake have risen to every challenge. In fact, Jake won his way into the Cadets final at the weekend.
Despite being the youngest, Kane was the first fighter named in the Northern Ireland Commonwealth boxing team and to compete in the Bahamas will be an experience that should stand to him.
Kane, who started boxing with Newry Bosco ABC, has been an exceptional ambassador for the Northern Ireland team and the Newry area and if he continues to make progress there then competing in the main Olympics before turning professional is quite conceivable.
He is an extremely mature boy, has a wonderful driven attitude and while a step up to senior level in the near future should prove testing, it is something Tucker can undoubtedly adapt to and then flourish in.
A silver medal is a magnificent reward for Kane's effort and he should be proud, as his many supporters are.

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