Ward's thrilling win

February 26, 2011

World Youth Champion, Joe Ward, is the new Elite light-heavyweight champion of Ireland following a thrilling win over 2008 Olympic silver medalist Ken Egan at the National Stadium in Dublin. 

  

Egan, who was aiming for his 11th Elite title in a row, went down under a superb left hook from Ward in the third and final round as the Moate BC Westmeath teenager carved out a sensational 11-6 victory. 

  

Egan ceded four points after receiving two public warnings for dropping his head and shoulder in the second and third rounds of this encounter. However, Ward was on top in the third and deservedly had his hand raised in victory by a five point margin. “He was the greatest and I’m the latest,” declared a delighted Ward afterwards.

Last night’s loss could end Egan’s hopes of qualifying for the London Olympics.

In contrast; Ward now has one foot on the plane for the World Championships and Olympic qualifiers in Baku, Azerbaijan, next September.

If the new champion reaches the quarter-finals in Baku, he will book his ticket for London.

 

Meanwhile, European champ Paddy Barnes recorded a convincing 9-1 decision over Evan Metcalfe to claim his fifth successive title at light-flyweight.

 Michael Conlon came from behind to beat Chris Phelan 11-7 in an excellent flyweight contest. Phelan was 5-1 up early in the second round but Conlon turned things around in spectacular fashion to claim his first Elite crown.

 

In the middleweight category, Darren O’Neill made it three-in a row with a 7-4 decision over Jason Quigley in a repeat of the 2010 final which O’Neill also won.

 

Tipperary heavyweight Con Sheehan, meantime, had to overturn a first round deficit to beat Galway’s Patrick Corcoran 9-3 to makes it four on the trot for the Clonmel BC.

 

The St Mary’s club in Dublin took home the lightweight title after David Oliver Joyce was disqualified for a low blow in the third versus Michael McDonagh.

 

Tyrone McCullagh, a bronze medal winner at the European Championships in 2010 was hoping to make it a hat-trick for Belfast and a double for the Holy Family versus John Joe Nevin, a bronze medal winner at the 2009 AIBA World Championships.

 

But Nevin – despite a late surge from McCullagh – never looked back from opening up a 2-0 first round lead. Tonight’s win make it four on the trot for the Cavan BC bantamweight.

 

The light-welterweight crown went to 2008 European bronze medalist Ross Hickey at the expense of Philip Sutcliffe. The first round of this clash finished 3-3, but Sutcliffe took two thudding right hooks in the second, the first of which obliged the Crumlin BC man to take a standing count.

 

Hickey, who has had a fantastic tournament, was also celebrating on the double this evening as he accepted the boxer of the tournament award to the musical backdrop of Tina Turner’s “Simply The Best”.

 

Sutcliffe then went down under a combination in the third as Hickey posted a convincing 14-4 decision in the battle of the former Elite champions.In the only female Elite final of the evening, Sinead Kavanagh beat Patricia Roddy 13-34 to claim the middleweight crown for the Drimnagh BC.

 

World and European champion Katie Taylor received a walkover in the lightweight category.

 

Defending super-heavyweight champ Cathal McMonagle was 3-1 in arrears at the end of the first against Athlone BC prospect Kenneth Okungbowa.

 

But the Holy Trinity man leveled in the second en route to recording as 12-5 victory in the final contest of the evening.

 

 

 

 

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