Sunday 25 February 2018

Joe Ward wins World silver after finding classy Cuban Julio La Cruz too much to handle

Joe Ward of Ireland ahead of his semi final bout against Bektemir Melikuziev of Uzbekistan at the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Hamburg, Germany. Photo by AIBA via Sportsfile
Joe Ward of Ireland ahead of his semi final bout against Bektemir Melikuziev of Uzbekistan at the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Hamburg, Germany. Photo by AIBA via Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Joe Ward missed out on World Championship gold after being beaten by familiar foe and Olympic champion Julio La Cruz in Hamburg on a unanimous decision.

The Westmeath pugilist now has two World silvers and bronze to his name but never looked like finally getting the better of the classy Cuban.

The four-time World champion, who also beat Ward in the 2015 final in Doha, hit the canvas in the opening round but the ref adjudged it as a slip.

Ward did land some telling blows but the Cuban cemented his reputation as one of the best amateur fighters of all time.

The result was unanimous, La Cruz winning 29-28, 29-28, 29-28, 30-27, 30-27 on the five judges' cards.

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