Boxing: Irish Olympic hero Egan gets taste of village life in London
KEN EGAN flew out to London last night to meet up with Irish President Mary McAleese, Olympic Council of Ireland chief Pat Hickey and FAI CEO John Delaney for a tour of the Olympic village today.
However, Egan, who was back in training yesterday morning following his Elite Senior Championships semi-final win over Denis Hogan on Friday night, won't stay in London for the Ireland v Brazil game tomorrow and will return home tonight to prepare for his title defence against Tommy McCarthy.
Meanwhile, Egan's brother John lost out in the semi-finals of the Novice Championships yesterday after he was stopped in the third round by Monkstown middleweight Julio Carrvalio at the National Stadium in Dublin.
Elsewhere, Ulster senior champion Tommy McCarthy has insisted that he won't be at the National Stadium on Friday night to merely provide the backdrop to Ken Egan celebrating a historic 10th Irish senior title win on the trot.
McCarthy (19), a bronze medal winner at the 2008 World Youth Championships in Mexico, saw off the brave challenge of Galway's Michael Ward on Saturday, winning 6-3 to set up a repeat of the 2009 final which Egan won 9-5.
Looking ahead to Friday's clash, the Oliver Plunkett Belfast clubman admitted that he has a formidable challenge ahead of him.
"Kenny is an Irish boxing legend. He's an Olympic silver medalist and has won nine Irish senior titles in a row and has boxed all over the world. He's been at the top for so long and he's definitely the man to beat," he said.
Meanwhile, John Joe Joyce will meet defending champion Willie McLaughlin in the welterweight final after beating his St Michael's Athy team-mate and friend Roy Sheehan 8-2.
Joyce always looked the more likely in this clash against the 2007 EU champion but admitted that he found it difficult to box someone from his own club.
"I've never boxed somebody from my own club, my brother has and David Oliver has boxed Eric Donovan, but I tell you it's hard because of the emotions that go with it," he said.
Meantime, European Youth champ Jason Quigley had to come from behind before having his hand raised in triumph against '08 European senior bronze medalist Eamon O'Kane in an all Ulster middleweight semi-final.
Quigley was 1-0 in arrears inside the opening minute of the first, but upped the tempo in the second to lead 6-1. A further four points in the third sealed an impressive victory for the classy 18-year-old Finn Valley club-man.