Tuesday 17 October 2017

Boxing: Egan cruises to brink of historic perfect 10

Bernard O'Neill

KEN EGAN is a mere nine minutes away from winning a historic 10th consecutive Irish title after recording a landslide win over Denis Hogan in the semi-finals of the Elite National Senior Championships at the National Stadium last night.

The 2008 Olympic silver-medalist, who had beaten his Grangecon light-heavyweight opponent twice in 12 months prior to last night's bout, was 3-1 up at the end of a a low-tempo first round.

Egan, though, upped the pace to stretch his lead to 12-1 by the end of the second and added another nine points to his tally in the final frame to claim a 21-2 decision. The Neilstown southpaw will now meet either Tommy McCarthy or Michael Ward -- who meet tonight -- in next weekends 81kg final.

Countering

"Once I got my distance, I was making him miss and countering to the head and body," said Egan, who beat McCarthy 9-5 in last year's final by Egan.

"I'm flying at these Championships and now I'm just looking forward to getting in the ring next weekend."

Defending champions Eric Donovan,Willie McLaughlin, Con Sheehan and Darren O'Neil -- who received a walkover after Tom O'Donnell had to pull out injured -- and AIBA World Youth champion Ray Moylette also progressed to next weekend's deciders.

Donovan, of the St Michael's, Athy club, recorded a convincing 10-2 victory over Ciaran Bates and said: "Tonight was more of a threat than last week, but while I was pleased with the win there is always room for improvement."

Moylette was 4-0 down in the first round of a full-blooded duel against defending 64kg champ Philip Sutcliffe from Crumlin BC, but turned things around in spectacular fashion to lead 8-5 at the end of the second. Both boxers ceded two points apiece after receiving public warnings in the third, leaving the score at 10-8 to Westport's Moylette. However, despite being put under enormous pressure from Sutcliffe in the final two minutes, Moylette held out to win by a two-point margin.

McLaughlin beat Adam Nolan 5-0. Meanwhile, Donegal's Tyrone McCullough came from behind to edge out Belfast's Ryan Lindberg on a razor-thin 12-11 countback after both both boxers were tied at 6-6 after three top-class featherweight rounds.

Lindberg was 2-1 up at the end of the first and 5-4 ahead at the end of the second, but McCullough twice restored parity with body shots in the final frame en route to having his hand raised on accepted scores in a repeat of the recent Ulster final which Lindberg won on a 7-6 countback.

Gary Molloy saw off the challenge of Ruairi Dalton in the flyweight decider. An impressive 8-2 victory over his Belfast opponent -- who had Bernard Dunne's former coach Harry Hawkins working his corner -- did the business for the Westmeath man.

The flyweight belt became vacant after defending champion Declan Geraghty withdrew because of a hand injury.

The featherweight title is also vacant following Carl Frampton's decision to ink a pro deal with Barry McGuigan's stable last year.

St Francis, Limerick welterweight Jessica Lyons the intermediate 69kg champion, forced Caroline Connolly into a standing count in the first en route to a 10-3 win in the only female semi-final of the evening.

Irish Independent

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