Monday 23 July 2018

D-Day for three Irish boxers at World Championships as Joe Ward eyes history

Joe Ward claimed his third European gold medal with a unanimous victory on Saturday. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Joe Ward claimed his third European gold medal with a unanimous victory on Saturday. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Sean McGoldrick

Today is D-Day for the three Irish boxers still standing in the World championships in Hamburg.

Ireland's two seeded fighters, European champion Joe Ward and Brendan Irvine – who received byes to the last 16 – both make their debuts in this evening's session (6pm Irish time).

In the light heavyweight class, Ward faces Lago Kizira from Georgia – the home country of Ireland's head coach Zuar Antia while Irvine fights Korean Inkyu Kim for a place in the bantamweight quarter finals.

While both Kizira and Kim have a win under their belts, the pedigree of Ward and Irvine - who won a bronze medal at the European Championships in the Ukraine earlier this summer - suggests that the pair are capable of advancing to the last eight.

Ward is aiming to become the first Irish male boxer to medal at three successive World championships having won bronze and silver in Almaty (2013) and Doho (2015) respectively in the 81kg division.

Super heavyweight Dean Gardiner will also bid for a place in the last eight in the final bout of this afternoon's session (2pm Irish time), though he faces an uphill battle against the number four seed, Cristian Salcedo from Columbia.

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