Monday 23 September 2019

Ward advances as Walker eyes duel with Russian foe

Boxing

Walker: “I sparred (Batyrgaziev) a few times in camp. It was very competitive but great sparring.” Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Walker: “I sparred (Batyrgaziev) a few times in camp. It was very competitive but great sparring.” Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Bernard O'Neill

Joe Ward eased into the quarter-finals at the 45th Chemistry Cup after dominating Piotr Sczukowski in Cologne last night.

The Westmeath light heavy and current European Elite champion recorded a unanimous decision over the Pole to move to within three wins of a third gold at this level.

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Kurt Walker reckons that he can see off Russian featherweight Albert Batyrgaziev in the quarter-finals after a top-class performance.

The EU Elite champion beat Armenia's Eric Petrosyan on a unanimous decision to advance to today's three-rounder for at least bronze. Walker's fellow Antrim fighter Carly McNaul also won yesterday, but Rio Olympian Brendan Irvine, Kieran Molloy, Dean Gardiner, James McGivern and Wayne Kelly bowed out at the last-16 stage.

"I sparred (Batyrgaziev) a few times in camp. It was very competitive but great sparring," said Walker. "I can't wait to get back in today and keep performing."

Meanwhile, Cork's Christina Desmond and Offaly's Grainne Walsh can only meet in Cologne in the final, which would be a repeat of February's Irish Elite welter final which Desmond won. Both women are in action today.

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