Dungiven middleweight, Eamonn O’Kane, is to join Milan Thunder, in the World Series of Boxing (WSB). O’Kane, who boxes out of the Immaculata B.C in Belfast is an eight times Ulster Senior titleholder and one of Ireland’s most experienced boxers and captained Northern Ireland to success – three gold and two silver medals in the recent 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.
He leaves for Italy tomorrow, initially for a trial, but is expected to join the team permanently. At 28 yrs, O’Kane is at the peak of his career and apart from his International successes few will forget his battles on the home front with such as Darren Sutherland (RIP), Darren O’Neill and Andy Lee in the Irish seniors.
O’Kane said that he was looking forward to an exciting new direction in his career, adding that he felt that the WSB offered the world’s top amateur boxers a viable alternative to professional boxing.
Milano Thunder, are joint top of the table with Paris United, (whose team includes John Joe Nevin ) in the European group. Only four years ago, O’Kane had considered quitting boxing after being robbed of a bronze medal in the Melbourne Commonwealth championships when a controversial decision went against him.
After his win in India in the 2010 final O’Kane, proud captain of the Northern Ireland side said : ““I trained hard for Melbourne and I got a rubbish decision and missed out on a medal. It was bugging me for so long my wife persuaded me to go back and I got my chance at Commonwealth gold. It’s a dream come true to win a gold medal so emphatically. I am even prouder to be the captain of this team.”.
Now a new chapter of his boxing career is about to begin and hopefully lead him to a place in the Irish squad for London 2012.