Sean McComb wins opening bout at AIBA World Boxing championships in Hamburg
Belfast light welterweight Sean McComb has won his first bout at the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Hamburg.
The southpaw controlled the three round bout against Brazilian Joedison De Jesus, though surprisingly he didn't achieve a unanimous victory. The Japanese judge sided with the Brazilian 29-28 but the other four judges all favoured the Irishman by the same margin.
The only concern in the Irish camp afterwards was that McComb sustained a cut over his right eye following a clash of heads in the third round. The fight was halted as both boxers were attended to by the medical team.
McComb is back in the ring on Sunday where he faces Cuban number two seed Andy Gomez Cruz in the 64kg division.
De Jesus, who finished fifth in the American championships, adopted the same southpaw stance as McComb which resulted in a very cautious opening two minutes.
The Irishman's excellent foot work kept him out his opponent's range and the Holy Trinity boxer threw the best punch near the end of the round - a sweet right hand to the body.
Growing in confidence, McComb continued to work his jab in round two and scored far more regularly than his opponent.
Sensing the way the fight was heading, the Brazilian was far more aggressive in the final round whereas McComb was content to keep his distance.
De Jesus' aggression probably did enough to sway the judges' mind on scoring the round in his favour, but overall McComb was a worthy winner.
While on paper he faces an uphill battle on Sunday against the Cuban, McComb has a record of doing well against highly rated opponents – he beat the reigning world champion, Russian Vitaly Dunaytsev at the European championships earlier this year.
Cruz is a newcomer to the light welterweight division – he actually qualified to box in the 56kg bantamweight division at the Rio Olympics, but the Cubans opted to send the more highly rated Robeisy Ramirez, who duly won the gold medal.