Tuesday 19 September 2017

Boxing: Red-hot Ward closes in on shot at second world crown

Westmeath middleweight Joe Ward is just two bouts away from becoming a two-weight world champion following a convincing quarter-final win over Russian puncher Kyazim Eneev at the AIBA World Youth Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, yesterday.

Ward, the current AIBA World Junior light-middleweight champ, advanced following a 9-6 verdict over the Russian just 24 hours after recording an 8-1 win over Frankie Sanchez of Cuba.

Ward, of Moate BC in Westmeath, will now meet Colombia's Palacio Carrillo in tomorrow's semi-final, where he will be joined by Belfast's Ryan Burnett.

The Holy Family BC light-flyweight progressed to the last four after earning a 6-4 decision over Mark Anthony Barriga of the Philippines yesterday and will face Cuba's Yosvany Soto Veita tomorrow.

But while Ward and Burnett -- who are now guaranteed at least bronze and a place at August's inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore -- advanced, there was disappointment for Michael O'Reilly and Chris Blaney.

Blaney was beaten 9-2 by Brazilian welterweight David Lourencio de Costa and O'Reilly lost out 8-0 to India's Vikas Krishan in the lightweight class.

Ward, speaking after his third win in three days, said: "It's going well so far but it's not the end of it yet. Hopefully I can go and win a medal in Singapore from here."

Mayweather plays down Mosley appeal

SIN CITY, the world's fight capital, braces itself for a genuine super-fight involving two American prize fighters for the first time in three years when Floyd Mayweather and Shane Mosley meet in the MGM Grand Garden Theatre tonight. The contest is expected to gross $120m.

When the winner's arm is raised aloft of a fight with no belt on offer, the awaiting prize is a showdown with Manny Pacquiao to be the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world. "As far as drawing power and superstardom, me and Shane are not on the same level," said Mayweather.

In hard financial terms, he is right, but Mosley could win this fight. A points win over the distance for Mayweather is on the cards, though Mosley does look sharpened for the fight of his life. The issue is whether, at 38, it has come too late for him against Mayweather, boxing's defensive genius.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport