BRETT McGinty faces England’s Mohammed Harris Akbar in tomorrow’s 69kgs final at the Commonwealth Youth Games.
McGinty recorded both wins by way of unanimous decisions at the Tuana’Imato Sports Facility in Apia, the capital city of Samoa.
Despite reporting unwell before his quarter-final with Scaife, McGinty turned in two impressive displays to reach the final.
All five Northern Ireland boxers have reached finals with Stephen McKenna, James McGivern, Tiarnan Bradley and Aidan Walsh also boxing for gold tomorrow.
A six-time Irish champion with a bronze medal from the 2012 European Schoolboy Championships, McGinty’s meeting with Akbar represents the zenith of his boxing career so far.
McGinty qualifies for these games as he is Derry-born and the Oakleaf ABC puncher is gunning for the big one.
“We’ve done nothing in half measures here – John (Conlan, the team coach) has been brilliant with us,” he told Donegal Sport Hub.
“I’ll go over tactics with John now. Akbar is a good boy, but if I can perform it should be enough to get the win.
“Everything is good and I’m just focussed for the final now.”
Akbar, for his part, overcame Daniel Bonne from the Seychelles in his semi-final after getting a bye through the quarter-finals.
Akbar’s was a solid display and he won by TKO in the second round.
Akbar hails from Bradford ans was the 2014 English Junior and 2015 English Youth champion.
Akbar – who boxes out of the Bradford Police and College Boxing Academy – also competed in the 2013 Junior European Championships and the Junior World Championships in Kiev in the same year.
“It’s fantastic what this group of young boxers have achieved,” said Ulster Council secretary Sadie Duffy, from the Illies Golden Gloves club.
“It’s a real testament to their dedication to the sport. We wish them well in their quest for gold.”
The Donegal Boxing Board President, Peter O’Donnell from Raphoe, said McGinty’s achievement was ‘fantastic’.
He said: “Brett is a fantastic ambassador for the sport of boxing and it would be the icing on the cake if he can bring home the gold. He does everything asked of him in the sport and deserves everything he gets out of it.
“It’s a fantastic achievement for Brett. I would like to wish him, on behalf of myself and the 17 clubs in Donegal, all the best.”
McGinty’s Oakleaf ABC team-mate and sparring partner, Sean McGlinchey, won a bronze medal at last year’s senior Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
“Hopefully he keeps his head, keeps his cool and gets the job done – it’ll be no bother to him,” McGlinchey told Donegal Sport Hub.
McGinty isn’t the first Donegal boxer to taste Commonwealth glory. At the senior version in 1970, held in Edinburgh, Ballyshannon’s Paddy Doherty won a light-heavyweight bronze medal.Tags: