Irish trio set to light up London
Published 17/01/2013 | 05:00
JOHN JOE NEVIN and Michael Conlan will have their first competitive fights since the Olympic Games when they line out on opposing sides in the British Lionhearts v USA Knockouts World Series of Boxing (WSB) clash in London tonight.
Current European champion Joe Ward will also be in action for the Lionhearts in the five-bout match at York Hall.
Conlan makes his debut for the Knockouts against Wales' Andrew Selby in a repeat of their 2011 World flyweight championship quarter-final in Azerbaijan, which Selby edged 25-24. Nevin meets France's Douda Sow in a battle of the 2012 and 2008 Olympic silver medallists, while Ward is targeting his third straight WSB win against Croatia's Marco Calic.
The finals, which will feature Olympic, World and European medallists, will take place on Friday, February 22.
The rest of the tournament, which begins on February 8, will be held at the stadium, which was opened in 1939 as the world's first purpose-built boxing venue.
World No 1 Mark Selby produced a superb fightback to book his place in the quarter-finals of the Masters at the expense of Stuart Bingham.
Selby trailed 5-1 but reeled off five frames in a row to win 6-5 and set up a last-eight clash with former world champion Mark Williams.
Williams earlier claimed an unlikely 6-4 win over Matthew Stevens. Williams was completely out of sorts as he trailed 4-1. Stevens missed a simple brown to go 5-1 in front and from then on committed numerous basic errors as Williams took five frames in a row.
YMCA captain Albert van der Merwe has announced his retirement from international cricket after winning 21 caps for Ireland since his debut in 2010.
The 33-year-old off-spinner, one of the last part-timers in the Ireland squad, no longer felt able to commit enough time to the national set-up.
Born in South Africa, Van der Merwe took 40 wickets for his adopted country at an average of 22.5, including 11-68 against Kenya in Mombasa last year – the best match figures by an Ireland bowler in 40 years.