Saturday 3 December 2016

Boxing: Elite debutant Ward aims to bring Egan's record run to end

Bernard O'Neill

Published 25/02/2011 | 05:00

AIBA WorldD Youth champion Joe Ward reckons that Kenny Egan has it all to lose and that he has everything to gain in the light-heavyweight final of the Elite Championships at the National Stadium tonight.

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Some of the top amateur boxers in the world will be between the ropes at IABA headquarters, battling it out for 10 male and one female belts on offer.

Elite debutant Ward, who at 17 is 11 years Egan's junior, meets the 2008 Olympic silver-medalist in one of the big duels of the night.

Egan is targeting an unprecedented 11th Elite crown on the trot, but 2009 AIBA World junior champion Ward, who hasn't been beaten in Ireland since he was 10, is aiming to throw a spanner in the works.

"Kenny is unbeaten in 10 years in Ireland and I'm unbeaten in seven. One of our unbeaten records is going to go and it's my job to make sure it isn't mine," said Ward.

"I'm feeling no pressure going into this fight as I have it all to gain and absolutely nothing to lose. I'm only 17 and starting out at this level. I'll be around for years to come."

European champion Paddy Barnes -- who is aiming for five on the trot -- defends his light-flyweight title against Evan Metcalfe, while Chris Phelan meets Michael Conlon at flyweight.

Kenneth Okungbowa faces super-heavyweight champ Cathal McMonagle, looking to add to the U-21 and intermediate titles he's already acquired this season.

The Nigerian-born boxer, a student at Athlone IT, has a reputation as a big puncher.

"Kenneth has been boxing incredibly well this year and the club are very proud of him," said coach Ray Parkes. "Kenneth is a very powerful puncher, so he's right in there with a chance."

John Joe Nevin, who produced a superb performance in his 9-0 win over Derek Thorpe in the semi-finals, meets Tyrone McCullagh in the amalgamated bantamweight and featherweight final (56kg).

David Oliver Joyce of St Michael's Athy faces St Mary's Michael McDonagh in the lightweight final, while Ross Hickey battles 2009 Elite champion Philip Sutcliffe in the light-welterweight decider.

Adam Nolan takes on Karl Brabazon for the welterweight belt, while Patricia Roddy faces Sinead Kavanagh in the Elite women's middleweight final.

Champion Darren O'Neill renews acquaintances with Jason Quigley in a repeat of the 2010 middleweight final, while heavyweight champion Con Sheehan is seeking to make it four in a row against Patrick Corcoran.

Elite National Senior Finals,

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Irish Independent

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