Boxing: Moylette's Olympic dream over
KEN EGAN eased to within two wins of claiming his 11th title in 12 seasons after stopping fellow Dubliner Michael Frayne in the quarter-finals of the Elite National Championships at the National Stadium.
However, the night's big talking point was the shock defeat of Ray Moylette, the current European light-welterweight champion, by Crumlin's Martin Wall.
Wall secured a 15-11 verdict to end the Olympic Games dream of the Mayoman, who was being cheered on by his Islandeady neighbour, Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
Egan, meanwhile, forced Frayne into two standing counts in the first round of their light-heavyweight bout before the fight was stopped 12 seconds from the final bell, when Frayne took a third standing count with Egan 24-9 ahead.
The 10-time champion will now meet Moylette's St Anne's team-mate Eamon Walsh, who beat Cork's Pa O'Shea, with Egan's sights firmly on a re-match with reigning champion Joe Ward, who will face Davey Joe Joyce in the semis.
Saturday's win was Egan's first victory over a fellow Dubliner since 2005, and the Neilstown southpaw was looking sharp going about his business.
"I moved around nicely and used the ring well. I caught him with some good shots but he's a strong lad, I'll give him that," said Egan. "I feel strong at the weight, that's the most pleasing thing. Frayne was trying to pull me around a bit, so I just said: 'Easy there, buddy", and was able to keep him off. "I'm in good shape mentally and that's very important. That's the first time I fought a fellow Dub since I beat Leon Senior in the semi-finals seven years ago."
London 2012 Olympian Darren O'Neill advanced to within two wins of claiming his fourth Elite crown on-the-trot after Donegal's Stephen O'Reilly retired injured in the third.
"A win is a win, you get through it. I got almost three rounds out of it. It's enough.The auld kick in the backside is what you need. I was a bit lazy in there," said O'Neill, who was ahead on points when O'Reilly retired.
Defending light-welterweight champion Ross Hickey was involved in a full-blooded battle with Dublin's Phil Sutcliffe, Hickey emerging with a 17-15 decision.
The St Michael's, Athy club enjoyed a good day at IABA HQ on Saturday, with former champs Eric Donovan, Roy Sheahan, David Oliver Joyce and John Joe Joyce all posting wins. Willie McLaughlin posted a 12-10 decision over fellow Donegal welterweight Jason Quigley, both boxers receiving public warnings for holding in a tense welterweight duel.
World No 1 Katie Taylor is not taking part in the championships. The World and European champion will travel to Georgia for an intensive training camp today as part of her preparations for the AIBA Word Championships and only Olympic qualifier for female boxers in China in May.
The Elite championships continue next Friday and Saturday. The finals will be held on February 3.
results in factfile