Sunday 20 October 2019

Cavan's Ceire Smith marches on in world championships

Ireland's Ceire Smith
Ireland's Ceire Smith

Sean McGoldrick

CAVAN flyweight Ceire Smith has advanced to the second round at the women's world boxing championships in the Siberian city of Ulan-Ude.

Smith outclassed Australian Commonwealth bronze medallist Taylah Robertson to secure a unanimous 5-0 victory. But she faces a bigger challenge in the next round when she steps into the ring on Tuesday against the number one seed Choi M Pang from North Korea. She is the reigning world and Asian champion.

Cork welterweight Christina Desmond faces England's Sandy Ryan at lunchtime on Friday while Michaela Walsh and Amy Broadhurst are in action on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

The significance of the championships has diminished because the event is not a qualifier for next year's Olympics in Tokyo as the International Olympic Committee has effectively banned AIBA, boxing's troubled world governing body.

Instead, the IOC are organising its own Olympic qualifying tournaments with the European event scheduled for London next March.

Meanwhile, Donegal middleweight Jason Quigley – who suffered his first professional defeat in July – has linked up with former world middleweight champion Andy Lee ahead of his return to action.

After turning professional Quigley was initially based in Los Angeles before relocating to Birmingham where he was trained by Dominic Ingle. But he is looking forward to the change ahead of his return to the ring before Christmas.

"Andy has had a similar career to me and I'm delighted to start working with him," Quigley said.

"Andy moved on from a set-back to become a world champion. Andy has a great boxing brain and is very intelligent inside and outside the ring. I've only been working with him a short while, but we've got a good chemistry.

"I can't wait to let go in the ring now. I don't want to sit on that defeat too long. The best fighters have all been defeated.

"The great thing about boxing is that one fight can change a career. I want to get the ball rolling again and start climbing to where I belong."

Lee, who was 35-3-1 as a pro, won the WBO world middleweight title in December 2014 when he stopped Matyev Koroborov in the sixth round of their bout in Las Vegas.

Of the new partnership with Quigley, Lee said: "It's time for Jason to start fulfilling his potential. Jason has a huge amount of talent. It's about shaping that talent now and making it effective in the ring.

"I've only been working with him for a short time, but I already see improvements. Jason is very teachable and takes everything on board. It has been encouraging so far.

"It's one fight and one step at a time. I think I can actually help Jason, not just in boxing but with what he has to go through.

"We want to work now to getting Jason to winning again and looking good winning. We have to show something to people in boxing in general to get excited about."

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