Dub Metcalfe stands in the way of Casey glory

By Bernard O'Neill

LIMERICK'S Myles Casey advanced to within one win of becoming the first St Francis BC boxer since Jimmy Moore and current WBO World middleweight champion Andy Lee to claim an Elite title last night.

Moore beat Paddy Barnes - the last time Barnes was beaten at an Irish Championships - in the 2006 light-fly final a year after Lee claimed his final middleweight crown before turning pro with the Detroit Kronk.

Casey, a brother of ex European pro champion and World title challenger Willie "Big Bang", beat Antrim's TJ Waite on a unanimous decision to set up next Friday's clash with Evan Metcalfe.

Metcalfe saw off the challenge of Adam Courtney in a fiery all-Dublin derby at the National Stadium.

Kristina O'Hara, Kurt Walker, Sean Higginson, Joanne Lambe, Dervla Duffy and ex Elite champion Sean McComb and defending light-welter champion Dean Walsh also had their hands raised in victory last night.

But ex-European Youth champion Gary Cully crashed out of the tournament at the last-four stage after dropping a unanimous decision to George Bates.

Meanwhile, London 2012 Olympian Daren O'Neill, a four-time Elite champion at middleweight, will make his Elite debut at heavyweight against John Joe McDonagh at the home of Irish boxing tonight.

Irish Youth Olympian Christina Desmond has received a walkover into the welterweight final after Tina Donnelly withdrew from tonight's 69kg last-four meeting.

Desmond now awaits either Jillian Duffy or European Elite bronze medallist Claire Grace, who is ranked No. 8 in the world by AIBA, in the welter final next Saturday. Tonight's semi-finals begin at 7.0pm.

Elsewhere, Olympic bronze medallists Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan will line out for Italia Thunder versus Baku Fires in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) in Baku, Azerbaijan tonight. Seventeen direct Olympic places are up for grabs in the WSB this season.