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The Stars Came Out for Jonathan Ogden Foundation’s 7th Annual: “An Evening Ringside”; IABA

by Chip Mitchell: Former Baltimore Raven All-Pro Jonathan Ogden had a Charity Boxing event at the Martins valley Mansion last night to benefit The Jonathan Ogden Foundation. I must say, it was a night that fight fans won’t soon forget!

The Jonathan Ogden Foundation was established to assist youths in disadvantaged communities develop self-esteem, by way of athletics and education. The absence of such programs in the past may have prevented some of the aforementioned athletes from realizing their dream of playing in the NFL. More importantly, the Ogden Foundation keeps the dream alive for our future NFL stars. Soon they will fill the shoes of current players and attend similar charity events which keep the pipeline to distressed communities intact.

The charity event brought out a nice mix of entertainers, athletes, and professionals, all out to support a magnificent alliance. Current Ravens’ players Terrell Suggs, Torrey Smith were in attendance at the event along with, of course, Jonathan Ogden. Also in the house (for you WWF/WWE fans) was former wrestler Nikolai Volkoff. You may recall he used to sing the national anthem of the Soviet Union before his wrestling matches. Well, he had a change of heart.

The evening began with a cocktail hour, followed by dinner. There were live auctions between fights, preceded by a sports memorabilia silent auction. Then the boxing began…

First up was the middleweight fight between Dan Cannaday and Lee Snow. In a fight I thought could go either way, the uncooperative style of Cannady earned a victory.

Rolando Chinea and Ian James fought to a draw in a spirited lightweight contest. James came out and tried to dictate the terms early on. Chinea had a response and this back-and-forth bout ended in a draw.

Kelan Robey opened her pro debut in the win column, as she took a four-round split decision from Unique Harris. It seemed as if both ladies wanted to end the other’s night early as the action moved at a rapid pace. It was an excellent fight, and the fans let them fighters know immediately after the first round. Good action!

In a lightweight bout, Ramondo Elliott scored a sensational knockout of Shane Reynolds at 1:43 of the first round. Elliott dropped Reynolds twice, with no need for a count on the second knockdown.
In the co-feature Tyrieshia “Baby Girl” Douglas, who came thisclose to making the inaugural Olympic women’s boxing team won a unanimous decision against a game Sherine Thomas. Both women were undefeated and it was a tactical, yet action-driven fight. Douglas used multiple combinations to outwork Thomas for the win.

In the main event James “Keep ‘Em Sleepin” Stevenson upped his record to 18-0 (11 KOs) with a unanimous decision over Damon Antione. Antione proved to be extremely awkward and it served as a good test for future Stevenson opponents with similar defensive skills. Stevenson smiled throughout the bout, but in my opinion it was out of frustration. James seemed to be looking for homerun shots. Fans and trainers alike implored him to hit a few singles and doubles, which would eventually lead to knocking Antione out of the ‘park’. It didn’t happen, but it gives Stevenson something to work on. He may be a few more wins from a possible ESPN2 or Shobox date. Stay tuned…

The fights were icing on the cake for a great night. Most importantly, it was a well-attended event, which means Jonathan, fans, and athletes raised a good amount of money. As a result, someone that none of them will ever meet will benefit from it. That’s service at its finest.

Thank you to Bernie Bahrmasel (DOUBLE B PUBLICITY) for facilitating my attendance at this event.

IABA UPDATE (IABA 2012 ANNUAL AWARDS NIGHT)

Irish Amateur Boxing Association

The Irish London 2012 Olympic team were honoured, and Olympic, World and European champion Katie Taylor scooped the Boxer of the Year Award at the Irish Amateur Boxing Association’s Annual Awards Night at the Green Isle Hotel in Dublin this evening.

Taylor, John Joe Nevin, Michael Conlan, Paddy Barnes, team captain Darren O’Neill and Adam Nolan represented Ireland at the 30th Olympiad at the ExCel Arena in England’s capital.

Belfast-light-flyweight Barnes, who won bronze at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing before becoming the first Irish boxer in the 101-year history of the IABA to win a second Olympic medal at London 2012, received the Outstanding Achievement Award tonight and Joe Ward took home the Best Elite Boxer Award.

Ward, the current European light-heavyweight champion, claimed his second Elite title earlier this year and was also presented with the Boxer of the Tournament Award at Dublin’s National Stadium.

Irish coaches Billy Walsh, Zuar Antia and Pete Taylor and Des Donnelly and Michael Gallagher were also honoured.

Walsh, Antia and Taylor worked Ireland’s corner at London 2012 and Donnelly was Irish team manager. Gallagher was presented with the best Referee & Judge Award at London 2012.

The Schoolboy Achievements Awards went to Oliver McCarty, James McGivern and Michael Nevin. The Irish trio claimed three gold medals at the 2012 European Schoolboy Championships to help secure ten medals – a record haul for Ireland at this level – in total in Anapa, Russia this year.

The Ryston BC from Newbridge, Kildare won the Best Club and Coaches Award, while IABA historian Joe Kirwan collected the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Eight-time Elite champion Neil Gough and Mick Darby were inducted into the IABA Hall of Fame.

Reflecting on another outstanding year for Ireland’s most successful Olympic sport, IABA President Tommy Murphy hailed the performances of Ireland’s boxers in international and domestic competition.

“The Olympic Games in London earlier this year were a fantastic occasion.The tremendous atmosphere, the performances of our squad against the best in the world. It was a truly momentous occasion and our Olympic team were a credit to the nation, he said.

“Our teams are now winning medals at all levels internationally and are a consistent source of pride to the Association. This week alone our boxers have won three medals at the European Women’s Youth and Junior Championships in Poland.

“Our coaches and staff and the clubs and coaches throughout the country play a crucial and integral part in the ongoing success of Irish amateur boxing internationally and domestically and they deserve enormous credit for what has been another magnificent year.”

Jimmy Magee was Master of Ceremonies this evening.

IABA 2012 ANNUAL AWARDS GREEN ISLE HOTEL DUBLIN NOVEMBER 9TH

Olympic Achievers Award

Katie Taylor (Bray BC)

John Joe Nevin (Cavan BC)

Paddy Barnes (Holy Family BC)

Michael Conlan (St John Bosco BC)

Darren O’Neill (Paulstown BC)

Adam Nolan (Bray BC)

Olympic Achievers Back Up Team Award

Billy Walsh

Zuar Antia

Pete Taylor

Des Donnelly

Michael Gallagher

Boxer of the Year

Katie Taylor (Bray BC)

Best Elite Boxer

Joe Ward (Moate BC)

Outstanding Achievement Award

Paddy Barnes (Holy Family)

Schoolboy Awards

Oliver McCarthy (Brian Dillons BC)

James McGivern (Oakleaf BC)

Michael Nevin (Portlaoise BC)

Junior Awards

Jason McKay (Canal BC)

Brian Wall (Cashen BC)

Youth Award

David Roche (Riverstown BC)

Intermediate Award

Hughie Myres (Ryston)

Best Club and Cocches Award

Ryston BC, Kildare

Ladies Achievers Award

Ciara Smith (Cavan BC )

Claire Grace (Callan BC)

Michelle Lynch (Geesala BC)

Referee & Judges Awards

International – Eddie Cummings

National – John Casey

Services to Boxing

Ollie Nesbitt

Mick Devane

Peter Mullen

Jack Monaghan

Seamus Dorrington

Special Lifetime Service to the Sport Award

Joe Kirwan

Hall of Fame

Administration – Mick Darby

Boxing – Niall Gough (St Pauls Waterford)