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Sunday 25 February 2018

Boxing: Egan confident place in Worlds all wrapped up

Bernard O'Neill

KEN EGAN believes his win at Saturday's Unseeded Open Elite Competition will be enough to book his ticket for the upcoming AIBA World Championships and Olympic qualifiers in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The 2008 Olympic silver medalist beat Antrim's Stephen Ward 13-5 in the heavyweight final at Dublin's National Stadium. It was a comfortable win for the three-time European Union champ, who announced last week that he was moving up from light-heavyweight to heavyweight.

"I don't care about anyone else. If they sent just me to Azerbaijan I'll be happy," said the Neilstown BC southpaw. "I think I am after earning my place on the plane by now."

Meanwhile, Roy Sheehan's resurgence in form continued following his 14-10 victory over Portlaoise BC man Michael O'Reilly in the welterweight final.

The lead changed hands twice in this 69kg duel, as teenager O'Reilly, one of the brightest prospects in Irish boxing, claimed the first round by one point before Sheehan edged ahead going down the final stretch.

"I'm glad I came out on top. I trained very hard for this," Sheehan said. "I was out for the last three years with a broken hand and this is my first time fully fit and hopefully it will get better from here on."

Current and former Elite champs Ross Hickey and Tyrone McCullagh, both European bronze medalists, also won on Saturday, and 2009 Euro youth champ Jason Quigley beat Stephen O'Reilly in an all-Donegal clash.

Multiple Irish and EU champ David Oliver Joyce, a team-mate of Sheehan's at St Michael's Athy, came out on top against Mark O'Hara.

Classy Belfast flyweight Michael Conlon, Davey Joe Joyce and Elite champ Con Sheehan, who has moved up from heavyweight to super-heavyweight, all triumphed.

World and European champ Katie Taylor and Sinead Kavanagh were in action on Saturday's programme. Taylor hammered Holland's Vandellen Willeke 22-4, but Kavanagh lost 17-10 to Willeke's compatriot Fontyn Nouchka.

Irish Independent

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