ACE boxer Emeka Onwuka has been dealt a knockout blow after learning his trip with Ulster this week to the Under-19 Multi Nations in Germany has been axed - due to coronavirus fears, writes Shaun O’Neill.
The 17-year-old, a member of All Saints club in Ballymena, has just returned from a four day training camp in Glasgow, and was looking forward to the Nations event.
But the trip has been shelved leaving the Ballee boxer bitterly disappointed.
The talented teen was recently chosen by the Ulster Elite High Performance Unit to train and spar along with the Scottish Elite squad.
This is a massive achievement for a lad of 17 who is yet to box at senior level never mind Elite level!
Onwuka was to being his bid for Multi Nations glory today (Tuesday). The tournament was to have continued until Sunday, March 8.
Meanwhile, the top young boxer is full of praise for his employer, Cranswick County Foods, at Fenaghy Road, Cullybackey.
When he is training or in competiton they very kindly allow him time off.
“His employers are very understanding with his dedication to his sport and recognise his commitment,” said All Saints coach, Dermot Hamill.
“They allow him to take time off to box on different Teams. Emeka cannot speak highly enough of them. He thanks them for all they do for him.”
The teen does tough 8am to 3pm shifts.
When getting ready for tournaments Onwuka does his morning run before starting work!
The Multiple Ulster, County Antrim and Northern Ireland Champion is ranked No. 2 in Ireland at U18 level.
He has been part of the All Saints set up since he was just seven years of age.
Coach Hamill describes Onwuke as being “very disciplined and dedicated” when it comes to boxing.
In a recent Irish U-18 semi he took the 11 time Irish champion and European Gold medalist to a split decision!