Thursday 18 January 2018

Joe Ward cruises into semi-final with another comprehensive display in Hamburg

Joe Ward of Ireland during an IABA Boxing open training session at the Institute of Sport in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Joe Ward of Ireland during an IABA Boxing open training session at the Institute of Sport in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

From Sean McGoldrick in Hamburg

Joe Ward cruised into the semi-finals of the light heavyweight division at the World championships in Hamburg when he outclassed Mikhail Dauhaliavets from Belarus in a one-sided quarter-final bout.

The 23-year-old Irishman did much as he pleased; using his right jab to keep his opponent, who he had beaten in the quarter-finals at both the European and World championships in 2015, at bay. Using his superior footwork he comfortably avoided the majority of his opponents shot.

Essentially it was one way traffic, though the Belarus boxer did catch Ward with one decent right at the start of the third round.

As expected, Ward will now face treble World champion and current Olympic gold medallist Cuban Julio de la Cruz in the semi-final on Friday. He also cruised through his quarter final. But at worst Ward is guaranteed a bronze medal.

The clash between the Irishman and the Cuban will be one of the most anticipated bouts at the championships. At both the 2013 and 2015 World championships, de la Cruz beat Ward in the semi-final and final respectively.

Ward's victory – the German judge scored the contest 30-26 in his favour – means that he has won medals at the last three World Elite championships even though he has yet to celebrate his 24th birthday. It is by any standards a remarkable achievement.

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