Going for gold

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Knockout teenage boxers Sophie McClintock and Skye-leigh Haighton, who this year won Provincial, international and national titles are now in serious form for the national cadet finals and European qualifiers this weekend in the National stadium in Dublin this coming Saturday.

Both girls secured their places in the finals after tremendous performances at the weekend. Sophie-Leigh McClintock 54kg punched and manoeuvred her way to a quarter and semi-final victories defeating national champions. Skye-leigh current national champion at 43kg dominantly secured her place in the finals with an impressive unanimous decision.

Skye-leigh and Sophie, both 15 , put their success down to the support of their club, the Evolution Boxing Club in Carrickfergus.

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The girls believe they are in the right place to succeed as the Iain Mahood school has produced more than its fair share of success stories both in the amateur game as well as the top level in professional boxing over the last six years.

Skye-Leigh Haighton , Iain Mahood , Sophie-Leigh McClintockSkye-Leigh Haighton , Iain Mahood , Sophie-Leigh McClintock
Skye-Leigh Haighton , Iain Mahood , Sophie-Leigh McClintock

The Evolution head coach Iain Mahood and his team provide both one-to-one training and group sessions Monday to Saturday , welcoming people from all walks of life from the age of seven upwards. The Evolution Boxing Club has always attracted an ever increasing number of female boxers who are taking to the sport and are keen to follow the pathway of leading girls Sophie and Skye-leigh

The girls train alongside male competitors every night. “We are all treated the same,” said Skye-leigh. “You are a boxer first and I love that about our club and sport. It’s necessary if you want to win at the highest levels of competition, and I like winning, I love competing. There is no better feeling than climbing into the ring and facing your opponent, with only your coach in your corner. Climbing into the ring, and especially winning makes all the training worthwhile."

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