KEN EGAN was back on top of the podium last night after fellow Dub Darren Cruise was retired by his corner at the start of the third round of the Open Senior Light Heavyweight final at the National Stadium in Dublin.
Egan was last beaten in an Irish tournament in May 1999 after he dropped an 11-8 decision to Kilkenny light middleweight Paul Dormer. And the Neilstown clubman never looked like surrendering his record after he took the first round 6-1. Egan then made it 15-1 in the second before Cruise's corner retired their man.
Meanwhile, reigning Irish Light Welter champ Philip Sutcliffe did the double over Beijing Olympian John Joe Joyce following a 21-6 decision. Sutcliffe took all three rounds in a thrilling contest.
Joyce took a 1-0 lead in the first round of this encounter -- but despite showing skill when the fight was at long range, the St Michael's Athy man never coped with Sutcliffe's close work.
Both boxers eased off their ferocious pace in the final minute of the third round. However, Sutcliffe had already added 11 points to his total at that stage to claim victory in the fight of the night.
Former Irish senior champion Conor Ahern claimed flyweight honours at the expense of Belfast's Ruairi Dalton, winning 12-4. The Dubliner showed his experience to open up a 5-0 lead by the end of the first round and was 7-2 ahead at the end of the second.
Ahern, who has competed at two World Championships said: "I knew I had to start fast against Ruairi and I did."
Tyrone McCullagh eliminated European Union featherweight champion David Oliver Joyce in the semi-finals. And the Illies GG teenager built on that win with an impressive win over Sean Kilroy in an all-Ulster 57Kg duel.
European bronze medalist Ross Hickey emerged on top of a tactical lightweight battle with Irish champ Eric Donovan.
Donovan claimed the first round 1-0 but Hickey, who has beaten Donovan twice in the past, leveled affairs at 1-1 before edging 2-1 ahead. However, Donovan restored parity and with both boxers tied at 3-3 in the final 10 seconds, Hickey found the winning score with a close right.
Roy Sheahan emerged victorious over Adam Nolan on a double count-back, winning 4-1 after both welterweights were tied at 3-3 and 6-6 after the first count-back. David Joyce completed the St Michael's Athy double with a hard-fought 7-4 win over Donegal middleweight Stephen O'Reilly. There were wins also for EU champ Con Sheehan and Cathal McMonagle.
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