I WAS entertained at the Holiday Inn on Saturday night.
And no, I wasn’t there for a three-course meal or to stay in one of their fine rooms, or even to listen to some music.
And I certainly wasn’t there to use their gym facilities – training on a Saturday night? Are you mad?
No, I was at the Belfast venue to watch a boxing show that was value for money and above all else entertaining.
Belfast’s Luke Wilton was the headliner on the night and he did not disappoint the 400 fans that were packed into the room as he put his opponent on the canvas three times before the contest was stopped.
As Luke punched the air with delight it was obvious that this was a family show.
Why was it a family show, I hear you ask? Well the answer is simple. Luke and his brother Matthew both fought and won their fights on the bill.
Father Alio was in the corner as trainer, promoter and fixer. Mother Jane was on the door lifting the money and counting the tickets, while Luke’s sisters Chanel and Paris were the ring girls for the evening.
The two sisters also offered vocal support for their brothers as well as videoing the fights for future reference. Busy girls.
Add into the mix Mark Dunlop and his wife Diane, Alio’s brother Sam and cousin Sammy who were also there helping out. They all deserve great credit.
And some of the fighters on the bill showed that bigger fights could lie ahead in the future,
James Tennyson – on his debut – hit his opponent with the kitchen sink on his way to victory.
Shankill Road lad Marc McCullough looked the business and there is more to come from him.
Willie Thompson – who will fight for an Irish title in his next outing – just loves to box and I have no doubts that he can beat Lee Murtagh for the Irish crown.
And Dublin’s Brendan Fitzpatrick also looks like a kid going somewhere.
There were loads of positives on Saturday night but please take a minute for the brave boxers who flew in to take on some of our top local talent.
They showed limitless courage and bravery in front of a very noisy Belfast crowd, and all for a modest purse.
Credit where credit is due....