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Knockout night of kickboxing success

HUNDREDS arrived at the Oakwood Arms last Saturday night for Shannon Kickboxing’s fight night, which saw Joshua Vincent win the Irish cruiserweight belt and numerous other local fighters in action.

Joshua’s father, Howie Vincent, founded the Shannon Kickboxing Club and, on the night, was honoured by receiving the World Kickboxing Association refereeing certificate and being named Irish coach for an upcoming fixture against Wales.

“We’ve got the Welsh coming in June and they made me coach for that. We were over in Scotland about a month ago, I was part of the group but I wasn’t coaching for that but they’ve made me coach for the Welsh and I’m looking forward to that,” said Howie.

Irish kickboxing is strictly an amateur affair, without anything like the type of funding that boxing receives, so getting the fighters together for training won’t be very easy.

“We hope to have about four or five squad training sessions between now and June. They’re from all over the country and, because it’s amateur and we don’t get any funding, we have to consider people’s work, where they’re from and how far they have to travel. If we could get them every weekend it’d be fantastic but we can’t.”

Two Shannon fighters, David Ryan and Leona O’Shea, are on the Irish side. “Everyone has to have it to judge or referee at WKA shows, it’s a standard you have to reach or you not allowed to judge,” he said of his accreditation, for which he had to complete a WKA course and be examined by a representative from Scotland.

Joshua winning the Irish Kickboxing Federation cruiserweight (86kg) belt in an all-Clare clash with Billy Kelly of Phoenix Kickboxing Ennis wasn’t the only title fight on the night featuring a Shannon kickboxer. In the heavyweight division local Mickey O’Neill lost out in his bid to take the 91kg belt from Kilkenny’s Danny Quinn.
Both of these fighters received plenty of loud supporter from the boisterous and partisan home support and both of the bouts were very entertaining.

Shannon Kickboxing Club was started in 2005 and Howie says there is a fairly strong membership now. “I’ve a good nucleus of about 20 to 25 fighters. I get a lot up to train too, which I have no problem with, some want to keep fit and some want to do a small bit of self-defence with me. There are in the region of 40 overall.”

The club’s training takes place in Tullyvarraga Hall and Howie says the town has given him good support.
“It was my eighth show in Shannon and a lot came to it and there were a lot from Ennis too. I go around the country and there’s not many shows that you’d get that support for, it’s just fabulous.”

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